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March 2011 eNewsletter 

A Memphis Fast Forward Initiative

 An Operation: Safe Community Update

Even with a historic 23% drop in violent crime in Memphis since 2006, violent crimes involving youth – as victims and perpetrators – have remained a particularly challenging aspect of the overall public safety discussion. In ramping up efforts locally, Memphis and Shelby County Officials recently went to Washington, D.C. to present a comprehensive, community-based youth violence prevention plan in line with its participation as one of six selected cities with the Obama Administration’s National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.

President Obama launched the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention in October 2010. The goal of the Forum is to use multi-disciplinary partnerships, balanced approaches, and data-driven strategies to address youth violence. Boston; Chicago; Detroit; Memphis, Tenn.; Salinas, Calif.; and San Jose, Calif., were selected based on need, geographic diversity, and willingness and capacity to develop comprehensive plans.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. remarked, “It is an honor for our city to have been selected to take part in this historic initiative. Calling all of our leaders and stakeholders around the table on this particular issue was very easy given that we stay around the table working collaboratively on a range of critical issues.”

“This initiative shows how government, schools, faith-based organizations and other agencies have unified their efforts to help reduce youth violence. We believe our approach is a great example of how to address this critical issue in our community,” said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.

The Memphis Youth Violence Prevention Plan (“Memphis Plan”) has been developed by the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission spearheading Operation: Safe Community in partnership with the City of Memphis Government; Shelby County Government; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee; the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office; the Shelby County Sheriff's Office; the Memphis Police Department; Memphis City Schools; Shelby County Schools; Shelby County Health Department; Shelby County Juvenile Court; City of Memphis Division of Park Services; the Office of the Public Defender; Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Department of Children's Services and the Board of Probation and Parole all at the State of Tennessee Government; the Center for Community Criminology and Research and the Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action (CBANA) both at the University of Memphis; Memphis Tomorrow; Consilience Group; First Baptist Church-Broad; Hope Presbyterian along with many others. Insight and perspectives from a multitude of community stakeholders, youth, and interested citizens have also helped to shape the final plan which was presented during the two-day summit.

“Since fall 2010, we have had a commendable level of commitment from diverse agencies and organizations throughout Memphis and Shelby County to develop a plan that builds on community partnerships to fully address youth violence,” said Michelle Fowlkes, executive director of the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission. “Memphis’ participation in the Summit is the culmination of many months of dedication and serves as an unprecedented opportunity for our community to garner national recognition and long-term partnership opportunities,” added Fowlkes.

In commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Reverend Samuel “Billy” Kyles, Pastor of the Monumental Baptist Church, reflected on Dr. King’s life-long commitment to nonviolence and offered a nationwide call to action during the April 4th lunch.

More details about the Forum and summaries of the city plans are available at www.findyouthinfo.gov.

We also invite you to take a look at the Memphis Youth Violence Prevention Plan that our community has worked diligently to develop.

 Monthly Crime Trend Report

City of Memphis Crime Update: January - February 2011

From January 1-February 28, 2011, Major Violent Crime was down 29.5% including a drop in robbery by 51.4% and a drop in aggravated assault by 13.4% across the City of Memphis, when compared to the same time period in 2006.

Major Property Crime was down 38.7% including a drop in burglary by 29.2% and a drop in motor vehicle theft by 63.2% across the City of Memphis, when compared to the same time period in 2006.

Shelby County Crime Update: January - February 2011

From January 1-February 28, 2011, Major Violent Crime was down 29.0% including a drop in murder by 20.0% and a drop in aggravated assault by 13.1% across all jurisdictions of Shelby County, when compared to the same time period in 2006.

Major Property Crime was down 39.7% including a drop in burglary by 30.2% and a drop in motor vehicle theft by 62.5% across all jurisdictions of Shelby County, when compared to the same time period in 2006.

To view the full Operation: Safe Community Monthly Crime Trend Report administered by The University of Memphis and the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission please click HERE.

 In the News

Memphis touted as national leader for strategies to cut youth violence
Commercial Appeal

Memphis leaders present youth violence plan
Memphis Business Journal

Memphis one of six cities participating at Justice Department summit on Youth Violence
Commercial Appeal

Visit the PRESS section of www.operationsafecommunity.org to see all recent news coverage relating to Operation: Safe Community and our partners.

Memphis chosen as a host site for One on One: Connecting Cops & Kids. The Fred Rogers Company, in partnership with the National League of Cities and the Department of Justice COPS office selected Memphis based on its "enthusiasm and feel that the city possesses the ingredients needed to make the training a success and make its effects as long-lasting as possible."

For more information about One on One: Connecting Cops and Kids click HERE

District Attorney General announces winners of
the "Do the Write Thing Challenge" Awards


More than 1,800 7th and 8th grade students from 29 Memphis City and Shelby County Schools participated in the 6th annual Challenge.

Halley Brown of Arlington Middle School and Muhammad Feroze, of Schilling Farms Middle School were selected as the winners earning a trip to Washington, DC this summer to participate in the “Do the Write Thing Challenge National Recognition Ceremony.”

(pictured L to R: General Amy Weirich, winners Muhammad Feroze and Halley Brown and SERCO representative, Mr. Elliott.)

 Calendar of Events                                                                                            

Annual Tree Planting Ceremony
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
10:00 a.m.
T.O. Fuller State Park
1500 Mitchell Road
In the picnic area near pavilion #3

Featuring guest speakers Mayor Mark Luttrell, Mayor A C Wharton and Congressman Steve Cohen, during this event a tree will be planted as a symbol of the strength of crime victims as they weather the ongoing effects that crime has on their lives.

Dr. Katherine Lawson, executive director of Victims for Victory will also be honored during the event, by the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole, as an outstanding victim services provider.

17th Annual Crime Victims' Rights Awards.
Thursday, April 21, 2011 · 8:30 - 10:15 AM
Lindenwood Christian Church · 2400 Union

You are cordially invited to celebrate the strength of survivors of crime and honor the professionals who support victims in their healing and pursuit of justice with Mayor Mark Luttrell, Mayor A C Wharton, Sheriff Bill Oldham, U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton, District Attorney General Amy Weirich and the Family Safety Center of Memphis.

Coffee Reception begins at 8:30 AM. Awards Ceremony featuring keynote speaker U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton III will begin promptly at 9:00 AM. This event is free and open to the public.

Stay Connected!!

Make sure your friends, church members, business associates and neighborhood associations are connected to Operation: Safe Community!

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