Weekly Update

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As you all know, yesterday was Thanksgiving (and I hope you had a wonderful holiday with friends and family). One of the many things for which I am thankful are our incredible police officers and firefighters. Here is another example of why they’re so special; a story about how one of these heroes, Officer Tyler Smothers, saved the life of a one-year-old child.

“It’s every officer, every firefighter, every medical staff and all the hospitals. It’s all of us.  We’re, you know, we try to hold it together because, you know, we got in this field to help people.”  Every time that you see a police officer or firefighter, please thank them for their service.

We added more heroes to the ranks Wednesday when we graduated 25 new police officers from the academy.



Here is a link to the extraordinary efforts taken over the years to recruit and retain police officers. 

All about the partnerships:  As we all know, public safety and the appearance of our city are among our top priorities. As I near the end of my term, I’d like to thank the dedicated citizens and representatives of several Memphis and Shelby County government bureaus that tackle specific neighborhood crime and blight problems.

Earlier this week, I visited the Uptown Joint Agency Partnership (PJA), one of 12 such groups.  Tanja Mitchell has done an outstanding job leading the PJA since it was formed back in 2005.


The Memphis Police Department, Memphis Code Enforcement, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Code Enforcement and other representatives from government, businesses, churches, and non-profit agencies have worked together to address unique problems in specific neighborhoods.


In Uptown, the Police have addressed speeding and reckless driving and suspicious activities reported by residents.  Memphis Code Enforcement has torn down abandoned structures and clean-ups have been conducted by the residents with assistance from The Hospitality Hub and Downtown Memphis Commission.

Besides Uptown, neighborhood leaders attend these joint agency meetings in South Memphis 38106 area, Frayser, Raleigh, the University of Memphis area, Whitehaven, Westwood and the 38109 area, Highland Heights, Cordova, Klondike-Smokey City, South-East Memphis and the neighborhoods near LeMoyne-Owen College.

The PJA concept is one of the best examples of how government, working with citizens, keeps our neighborhoods safer and another good way to tackle blight throughout our city.   

The Right Key:  Wednesday night, Melyne and I went to hear the great Jason D. Williams play at Lafayette’s Music Room.  As always, Jason was very entertaining, but the event was extra special. He was awarded a Beale Street Brass Note, which will be placed with others on the sidewalk on Beale Street. For 40 years, Jason has been performing in Memphis and around the world.

jason wiliams

I learned that Jason was part of the revitalization of downtown. Jack Belz attended and talked about how Jason was hired to play most every night at Mallard’s in the Peabody in the 1980’s and was responsible for packing the club with locals and tourists.

jason williams

Congratulations Jason!  A well-deserved honor!

Enjoy your weekend!


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