Operation Safe Community announces $15 million in funds

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons announced the continuation Wednesday of a two year effort to make Memphis one of the safest cities of its size in Memphis.

Gibbons said Operation: Safe Community is about to receive almost $14.8 million in funding from federal grants, city, and county governments.  The money will be invested in 14 crime fighting strategies that include,

  • An additional 500 Memphis Police Officers
  • Fighting gang activity
  • Tougher state laws for gun crimes
  • A Safe Center for victims of crime.

Wednesday's event was attended by local and national politicians.

You can watch the entire announcement in the video player to the right of this story.

"The money's coming in because of this unprecedented effort by General Gibbons to help make Memphis safe," Senator Lamar Alexander said.
"Both Mayor Wharton and I recognize that one of the critical ingredients for a healthy and vibrant community is making that community safe," Mayor Willie Herenton said.

Nine million dollars will be spent on counseling for juvenile offenders during their earliest stages of delinquency.

"Even in these tough times we'll be able to continue these programs.  I'm eternally optimistic," Mayor AC Wharton said.

Gibbons said in the past two years, violent crime in Memphis is down eight percent. Property crime is down three percent.

The extra $14 million is expected to go a long way.
Gibbons said too many plans in Memphis sit on shelves and collect dust.  When it comes to Operation Safe Community, he said, he is determined to not let that happen.

Click here to e-mail Anna Marie Hartman.