Bill Gibbons to lead newly formed Public Safety Institute - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bill Gibbons to lead newly formed Public Safety Institute

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

The University of Memphis President Dr. M. David Rudd and the Board of Directors of the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission announced Wednesday Bill Gibbons will lead the newly formed Public Safety Institute (PSI).

Gibbons will simultaneously serve as President of the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission beginning September 1.

It's a five year plan that will include measurable evaluations that can prove what is and is not helping to reduce crime.

He will begin leading the Institute and the Crime Commission the day after his resignation as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security becomes effective.

Gibbons announced he was leaving his current position as the Commissioner, where he also serves as chair of the Governor's Public Safety Subcabinet, on Tuesday.

"It's not going to solve things overnight," Mayor Jim Strickland said. "And I think most people understand that."

The PSI at the University of Memphis is a combined effort of University of Memphis and the Crime Commission. It will be housed at the University's School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy. 

"We are proud to partner with the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission to host the Public Safety Institute at the University of Memphis," Rudd said. "The U of M has a strong history of research using technology and analytics to pioneer new ways to prevent and solve crime. We are excited to be able to contribute to a reduction in crime in the Memphis area. This is an important step in advancing the growth and development of our community."

Gibbons said he was impressed with the vision and understanding of public safety, and the leadership those involved with the project.

"I am very impressed by the leadership at the University of Memphis," Gibbons said. "President Rudd and others have a clear vision and understanding of what the Public Safety Institute can mean for both the university and the Memphis community. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has consistently called crime, in particular violent crime, our major challenge. I agree and welcome the opportunity to go to work every day as part of a team determined to meet this challenge head on."

Gibbons has gained praise and support for his experience and understanding from the commission's board of directors.

"We could not be more pleased to have someone of Gibbons' expertise, experience, and caliber- not to mention his deep knowledge of and strong relationships in Memphis - to lead the Crime Commission and direct our new research partnership with the University," Ben Adams, CEO of Baker Donelson law firm and Chairman of the Crime Commission Board of Directors.

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