Building Together: City of Memphis Weekly Update

CityofMemphis Communications Mayor Paul Young

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Our team toured the Blue Oval facility this week and I was struck by the scale of the development, not only the sheer building sizes, which are impressive - 1.6 million sf, 4 million sf, etc. But also the scale of human impact. I found myself thinking about the PEOPLE who had powered the development’s progress so far, the trades people whose skill literally turned dirt to steel, the team designing Ford’s most impressive and efficient factory on the planet, and the 8,000 people who will, ultimately, make Blue Oval run. There is no question that the project is game-changing for our city, but we are far from done when it comes to economic development and jobs creation. To succeed as a city, Blue Oval must be one project of many. It must be a starting point. 

Because jobs = stability and stability = less crime. And less crime = a stronger city. And a stronger city = more investment. And more investment  = more jobs. 

There is almost nothing that will help us forward our public safety goals faster than finding more ways to help our residents make more money. And as we consider a holistic approach to public safety, we see the importance of looking at poverty, disinvestment, and the impact of better aligned workforce development strategies. We also recognize the need to address where crimes occur and the originating neighborhoods. And we see the need to shift from siloed programs to coordinated systems, which is why you will continue to see me convening the players who have roles in the greater picture. The systems need to work together to support our end goals. We cannot simply police our way out of this situation when violent criminals continue to roam the streets and have easy access to guns. The events of this past weekend prove the need for intervention, prevention, and suppression strategies. They also prove that none of us can fix this alone. 

In collaboration with our partners, our team will be focusing on technology, data, neighborhood and youth intervention strategies, better tools for MPD, and public-private partnerships and funding models. 

We are undertaking two pilot programs to understand how advanced camera technology will allow us to better identify, track, prevent, and monitor criminal activity. This technology will support measures to attack blight, illegal dumping, and code enforcement. We are exploring approaches to modernize and streamline interagency data collection to improve accountability and drive the outcome we want to see. We are starting to use data on where criminal behavior originates to drive coordinated gang and gun violence intervention programs to neighborhoods of need. We are developing a pathway to add more detectives to solve more crimes and exploring options to fund a crime lab in Memphis, which will increase the speed of investigations and our ability to go to trial. And, we are analyzing the best ways to utilize interagency cooperation and public-private engagement and funding models for all. 

And, most importantly, as we embark on our pandemic-level response to crime, we will be hiring a primary Public Safety Advisor. This individual will be responsible for collecting, analyzing, and sharing the data related to public safety. They will serve as the lead for interagency cooperation, manage the to be created “Office of Neighborhood Safety,” and work to convene our public-private network of partners.   

We will talk more about our efforts every week, including the successes and challenges. Our goal is to be strategic, collaborative, and transparent.

Our mission is clear - move our city forward. We are locked-in on that goal. 


Other updates and info
Our anti-blight Strike Team hit the following zip codes this week:
38103, 38104, 38107, 38109, 38117, 38122, and 38128. 


Social shout-outs: What we love about Memphis!

social shout

Community meeting, hosted by Councilwoman Jana Swearengen-Washington:  


The city never closes but we’re observing President’s Day. Watch this message from the mayor!


Help us build a better Memphis - our transition teams are looking for input from YOU. Help them amplify your voice by taking these super short surveys (total time needed less than 5 mins!) 

Supporting our youth (3 questions):

Improving government (6 questions):

Improving public safety in Memphis (7 questions):

Improving public transportation (1 question):


In partnership and progress,

Mayor Paul Young