Memphis hosts hundreds of police for public safety symposium

Police across the nation attend safety symposium in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Hundreds of police officers from across the country are in Memphis this week. The city is hosting the 2019 National Public Safety Partnership Symposium--an event supported by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance with the U.S. Department of Justice Jon Adler compared policing to football. He said there's never a time for a Hail Mary play in law enforcement.

“We don’t dispatch police officers out there and simply hope for the best,” Adler said.

Adler and others at the National Public Safety Partnership Symposium in Memphis hope to learn from others to avoid any kind of Hail Mary strategy.

The symposium invites departments to share ideas and learn from experts.

“Share with each other,” Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner said to the crowd. “Talk about what you’re doing, your successes in your city. Let’s all learn from each other.”

The Public Safety Partnership was created by the DOJ in 2017 after an executive order by President Trump. It provides training and assistance to police and criminal justice professionals in high crime-areas. Memphis is one of the program’s original 12 sites.

U.S. Attorney for The Western District of Tennessee Mike Dunavant said PSP initiatives have helped decrease carjackings by 43 percent in the area. Another initiative targeted one area in South Memphis which saw 22 percent of the city’s homicides in 2016.

“As a result of PSP involvement in the Raines Station area homicides decreased 27 percent,” Dunavant said.

As keynote speaker, Director Adler commended Memphis and West Tennessee on its recent takedown of 214 alleged criminals in Operation Bluff City Blues.

“Nothing really phases me, but that got the wow factor out of me,” Adler said.

The Symposium lasts until Wednesday.

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