Thursday, June 9, 2016

New Security Measures Announced for Beale Street

Posted By on Thu, Jun 9, 2016 at 11:18 AM

click to enlarge Police Chief Mike Rallings, Mayor Jim Strickland, and DMC president Terence Patterson.
  • Police Chief Mike Rallings, Mayor Jim Strickland, and DMC president Terence Patterson.
At a press conference downtown this morning, city officials including Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Downtown Memphis Commission president Terence Patterson, announced a series of measures they hope will improve public safety on Beale Street.

Strickland called the steps "measured, thoughtful, and necessary." Patterson announced the measures, listed below:

*Some 10-20 members of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office will supplement the efforts of our MPD officers.

*Better visibility will be created for MPD in key areas along the street that would allow better sight lines into crowds.

*Security teams will be stationed along fences and alleys where entry points are being breached to reduce the number of underaged individuals who are typically loitering on the street after curfew.

*Security teams will be deployed after 10 p.m. to check IDs to enforce the existing curfew and to remove underaged individuals from the street who, in particular, are causing overcrowding.

*The Beale Street Bucks program will start at 10 p.m. on Saturday nights. Guests to Beale Street would pay $10 to receive a $7 merchant credit to be used for merchandise, food and beverage in any of the businesses along the street that night.

Additionally, MPD Interim Director Michael Rallings recommended a variety of other initiatives that his staff will either be implementing beginning this weekend or pursuing moving forward.

Lucille Catron of the Beale Street Development Corporation issued a press release in response to the measures, on behalf of the "smaller merchants on Beale," opposing any fee being levied. It was signed by owners of seven establishments who are not members of the Beale Street Merchants Association.

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