MPD stepping up patrols on Beale for holiday weekend

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - You won't have to pay a cover charge if you're taking family down to Beale Street this holiday weekend.

Memphis Police Department said they'll be adding patrols on Beale for the Thanksgiving weekend, and it's comforting for some knowing the cover charge is gone.

"I'm cool with that," Thierno Diallo said.

"I feel like if we have to pay to get on Beale Street, I'll just find another street we can walk on for free," Phillip Dixon said.

Tuesday, Memphis City Council finalized a vote to end the cover charge on Beale.

Most recently, during many weekend nights or high peak times, patrons paid $5 to enter Beale after 10 p.m., but many city council members felt there was no data that supported paying a cover charge reduced crime.

The city council said the same security measures are in place now on Beale, and they're working with the Downtown Memphis Commission to conduct a crowd control study soon to find active ways to make Beale even safer.

"As a tourist, this is like a main attraction and it's almost like capitalizing on people who come visit the city," Kacey Taylor said. "Think about the Vegas strip, you don't pay to go on the Vegas strip."

"I believe it helps reduce crime and I don't mind paying for it," Diallo said.

One business owner said off camera to WMC Action News 5's Jerry Askin that he supported Beale Street Bucks because he felt it helped reduce crime.

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