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Editorial Results (free)

1. Rape Survivors Go Public in Backlog Lawsuit -

The three rape victims who filed a federal lawsuit March 26 against city and county governments over the backlog of 12,000 untested rape kits deliberately wanted their real names used in the lawsuit, their attorney said Wednesday, April 2, as two of the three women talked with reporters about the case.

2. Second Rape Kit Lawsuit Names More Officials -

The second federal lawsuit since December over the Memphis Police Department’s backlog of 12,000 untested rape kits casts a wider net of defendants than the first lawsuit, including the current and former Memphis police directors and the current and former district attorneys general.

3. Second Lawsuit Filed Over Rape Kit Backlog -

Three women allegedly raped by Anthony Alliano during a string of rapes in the Cordova area covering a decade have filed suit in Memphis Federal Court over the delay in testing their rape kits.

It is the second federal lawsuit filed against the city of Memphis since December over the backlog of more than 12,000 untested rape kits police acknowledged in November after initially putting the backlog of rape kits at 2,000 in August.

4. Backlog Backlash -

The first thing Veronica Coleman-Davis wanted to do was take a look at where thousands of untested rape kits had been stored over the last 30 years.

The former U.S. attorney is investigating how the backlog came to be. It’s an effort that, until her appointment in February by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr., had been pointed at clearing the backlog with no answers from any of the players in the criminal justice system about how the backlog happened in the first place.

5. Police Union Dispute Subsides, Leaves Questions -

A turbulent week at the Criminal Justice Center for the Memphis Police Department is the lead-in for a critical week at City Hall in the unfunded pension liability discussion.

Leaders of the Memphis Police Association and other municipal unions will be part of the discussions this week on the size of that unfunded liability and what steps the city should take to put city finances on a more sustainable basis.

6. Memphis Police, School System Rift Not First One -

It took three weeks into the unified school system’s first school year for Memphis Police to get a memo that they were to respond to calls at Shelby County Schools within the city of Memphis.

The information bulletin from Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong went out to all officers Thursday, Aug. 22, the same day that a 5-year-old kindergarten student at Westside Elementary School walked into the Frayser school with a gun in his backpack and the gun went off in the backpack.

7. Adams Property Would Unite Police Functions -

The stars could be aligning for the Memphis Police Department to finally move out of the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center in Downtown.

Cost estimates for the department to renovate the old police headquarters on Adams Avenue have dropped and financing sources that could lighten the city’s cost burden are being explored, two important steps that could finally prompt a move.

8. Schools Security Plan Emphasizes Consistency -

While many of the most controversial issues of the coming merger of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools are still to be decided, the issue of how to handle school security appears to be settled.

9. Council Tackles Blue CRUSH, Wage Theft -

Memphis City Council members take up third and final reading Tuesday, Jan. 8, of an ordinance that sets up a local General Sessions Court-based process for settling “wage theft” complaints.

10. Anti-Blight Efforts Kick Into High Gear -

As mid-day traffic made an s-curve in South Parkway, a block of Bullington Avenue behind the trees in the curve was getting a makeover from work crews from several city departments.

And the fourth house on the block to be demolished in a week’s time started to come down Monday, Oct. 15.

11. Police Director Looks to Reorganization -

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong has plans to reorganize the department at the start of 2013.

The plans include moving investigators with the various bureaus now at the Criminal Justice Center to a set of nine bureaus spread across police precincts. And Armstrong told the Memphis Rotary Club this week that the precincts will be reconfigured to make them more similar in size with the same resources generally available at each.

12. Police Corruption Sparks Familiar Political Debate -

When he was Shelby County mayor, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. used to refer to civil service employees he encountered as “we be’s”

“We be here before you got here and we be here after you are gone,” was his explanation for the term, a line that got a good laugh as he explained some of the limitations on changes he wanted to make in local government.

13. Armstrong Talks About Start to Police Tenure -

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong counted it as a good weekend this month when a guns for gas program drew a larger crowd than expected and a haul of 500 guns when he and organizers had expected maybe 200 at the most.

14. Law Enforcement Agencies Launch New Gang Unit -

Local, state and federal law enforcement officials formally launched Monday, July 23, a new “Multi-Agency Gang Unit.”

But the unit will operate differently than the past gang unit that was a consolidation of efforts by the Memphis Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

15. Metro Gang Unit Unveiling Monday -

A new Metro Gang Unit will be unveiled Monday, July 23, by local, state and federal law enforcement officials.

But the unit will operate differently than the past gang unit that was a consolidation of efforts by the Memphis Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

16. Haslam Signs Trio of Anti-Crime Bills -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed a trio of anti-crime measures into law during a Wednesday, June 6, visit to Bartlett.

The laws include an increase in mandatory jail time for repeat domestic violence offenders and a second law upping sentences for convicted felons with guns that include some specific circumstances for longer sentences.

17. Audit: MPD Organized Crime Unit Didn’t Follow Spending Guidelines -

An audit of the Memphis Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit says the unit, which includes undercover drug investigations and other covert operations, “needs significant improvement” in obeying guidelines for the use of money in the OCU drug fund.

18. Audit: MPD Organized Crime Unit Didn’t Follow Spending Guidelines -

An audit of the Memphis Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit says the unit, which includes undercover drug investigations and other covert operations, “needs significant improvement” in obeying guidelines for the use of money in the OCU drug fund.

19. Officials Increase Crime Prevention Programs -

Just as statistics have driven the Blue CRUSH anti-crime strategy, U.S. Justice Department officials in Memphis this week said they are confident other statistics can point to strategies that will prevent crime.

20. Police Union Suspension Latest Sign of Turbulence -

Just when it looked like J.D. Sewell would outlast outgoing Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin, Sewell fell victim to the political turbulence that is part of being leader of a municipal union in an unprecedented recession.

21. Council Could Vote On Police Director -

Memphis City Council members have their first one-on-one meeting Tuesday with Memphis police director designate Toney Armstrong.

Armstrong makes his appearance before the council’s personnel committee at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 250 N. Main St.

22. Armstrong Rises Fast Through Changed Police Ranks -

Toney Armstrong is the youngest director of the Memphis Police Department to come out of the ranks. At 44 years old, Armstrong has been tapped to lead a department whose emphasis on technology and statistics is credited with dropping the city’s crime rate dramatically since 2006.

23. Armstrong Is Choice For MPD Director -

The new Memphis Police Director is the deputy director under departing director Larry Godwin.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Tuesday confirmed what many police department insiders thought and announced he is tapping Toney Armstrong to be the new police director effective April 15. That’s the date when Godwin retires.

24. Armstrong Named New Police Director -

Toney Armstrong will be the next director of the Memphis Police Department, Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced Tuesday.

The 22-year veteran of the police force is now the deputy director of the department. The announcement comes as Wharton has been considering a replacement for outgoing Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin. Godwin is retiring April 15.

25. Wharton to Talk Public Safety Issues -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has called a 1 p.m. press conference at City Hall Tuesday to make “several important announcements concerning personnel and public safety.”

The announcement comes as Wharton has been considering who to select as a replacement for outgoing Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin. Godwin is retiring April 15.

26. Godwin Named State Deputy Safety Commissioner -

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin looked closely last week at a newly decorated wall at the police training academy in Frayser.

27. Godwin to be State Deputy Safety Commissioner -

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin will go to work for the Haslam administration when he retires next month.

28. Godwin May Have State Posting -

Outgoing Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin may be going to work for the state of Tennessee.

Tennessee Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security Bill Gibbons has called a 3 p.m. press conference at the Criminal Justice Center to make an announcement about Godwin.

29. Godwin to Retire April 15 -

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin will retire on April 15, the date he set in paperwork filed last year with city government.

30. Old Cop, New Cop -

Until 2006, about the only things that cops in Memphis considered “high-tech” were the radio receivers they attached to their shirts.

Older cops considered the latest gadgets in crime fighting as a departure from proven police methods. They still relied on written reports – a bureaucratic requirement in case there were repercussions later – even though there was no guarantee the paper could be found. The closest thing to digital was the reel-to-reel recordings of radio dispatches.

31. ATTN: Mayor Wharton -

Memphians sound off on city’s most pressing needs.

Aaron Shafer
Founder of Skatelife Memphis; scientist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hosp.

Develop and promote a citywide mentoring campaign. We must heavily invest in the positive development of our children. Many of our Memphis children suffer not from a material poverty, but a poverty of healthy relationships and ultimately a poverty of possibility – of reaching their full potential. Each of us has had supportive network of mentors (“the village”) in our lives, be they our parents, teachers or friends, that have come along side of us to build our self-esteem and to help us navigate a path that moves us closer to realizing our potential.

32. Rotary Seeks Nominations for Dunavant Award -

The Rotary Club of Memphis East is seeking nominees for its 8th annual Bobby Dunavant Public Service Award, an event that honors distinguished work by public officials.

33. Blue CRUSH Boots Midtown ‘Problem Renter’ -

The house on the corner of South Cox Street and Southern Avenue didn’t look bad, as alleged drug houses go.

There was fresh blue-gray paint with neat borders, the distinct lines of a well-built house and a substantial red door with heavy glass.

34. MPD Nears Goal With 13 New Officers -

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin will get all 50 of his new police officers courtesy of federal stimulus funding still in the pipeline.

35. Union Police Station to Move to University Place -

The Union police station in Midtown would move to a new precinct house in the University Place development in the final phase of the HOPE VI project.

The Memphis City Council approved a resolution this week that supports the final phase, including a move of police operations for what was until recently the West Precinct.

36. Officers to Walk, Cycle Downtown Beat -

Memphis police officers will be patrolling Downtown streets on foot and by bicycle starting next month.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and Center City Commission president Paul Morris made the announcement at Thursday’s annual CCC meeting and luncheon Downtown.

37. New Policy Set for Police Handling of Juveniles -

Memphis Police got new written orders last week that gives them broader discretion in dealing with juveniles.

The policy put in writing by Police Director Larry Godwin and announced this week by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. comes after several years of discussion and concern about the number of juvenile offenders who are sent to detention.

38. Judge Disallows Videotaped Confession in Slayings -

MEMPHIS (AP) — A judge in the case of a Memphis man accused of killing six people will not allow a videotaped confession that aired on the crime reality show "First 48" to be used at trial.

39. Springdale Fights Back -

In the mile of Springdale Street between Chelsea and Jackson avenues there are five churches. That’s not counting the churches on side streets.

On Eldridge Avenue, one of those side streets, between two tiny churches is a pair of identical small houses – both boarded up.

The one closest to the corner has faded blue spray paint stenciled across the plywood.

In inner-city Memphis, the stenciling is as familiar as gang graffiti. It’s the mark of the Memphis Police Department’s Blue CRUSH campaign.

Five years into the crackdown guided by a devotion to crime statistics, crime is down in Memphis.

But the statistical drop in crime has come with lingering questions and concerns in Springdale and other neighborhoods with Blue CRUSH houses.

“Once we board them up, we really have to depend on the community to let us know if drug dealers have broken back into them,” Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons said. “If we don’t know about it, sometimes drug dealers can get right back in there.”

In the neighborhoods, homeowners lament that street level dealers are easily replaced and soon released from jail to resume their place in the neighborhoods – now with a criminal record that makes a move away from drug dealing even more unlikely.

Last year, a team from Memphis that included a police officer, a state prosecutor, a federal prosecutor, a University of Memphis researcher, the head of the Memphis Leadership Foundation and the pastor of one of those five churches along Springdale went to several cities to get training in a new anti-drug strategy.

“We were really interested in changing people’s lives, not locking them up,” Springdale Baptist Pastor Derrick Hughes told The Memphis News. Hughes wasn’t sure at first if he would be part of the Drug Market Intervention (DMI) program.

“It sounded as if possibly it was just another program that was going to possibly just put criminals in jail without rehabilitation,” he said. “And I wanted to make sure that if we were going to be a part of something that it was going to look at rehabilitating the person, changing lives, changing them from a holistic point of view as well as a spiritual point of view.”

Gibbons said some of his prosecutors and some police brass also had their doubts as they looked for an area to test out DMI Memphis style.

“It was based primarily on looking at crime patterns and in particular drug activity in that area,” he told The Memphis News. There was plenty of open drug dealing in the Springdale area.

Drug Market Intervention is picking several street level drug dealers in a community, confronting them with the evidence against them and telling them they have one more chance to get out of the business. The police are involved in making a decision not to prosecute a few as they target dozens of others in an area.

Others on the team are community leaders from the neighborhood. And some are with proven programs to provide job training and other help in getting a legitimate job.

High Point, N.C., was the first stop for the Memphis group because it is the birthplace of DMI. It seems an unlikely example for Memphis with a population of fewer than 100,000. But in 2003, High Point had several open air drug markets. The city’s new police chief, James Fealy, attacked them using what became the DMI strategy.

David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Control and Prevention at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, replicated DMI in other cities with money from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance. The BJA funded the training of the Memphis team and came here.

Kennedy’s philosophy is specific to open air drug markets. It doesn’t pretend to eliminate all drug dealing.

“Open air drug markets are found primarily in our cities and in African-American neighborhoods,” Kennedy wrote in a 2008 article for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Journal. “Although we are loathe to admit it, this issue is soaked in race.”

Kennedy said police complained to him that the families of the drug dealers and others in the surrounding communities knew they were selling drugs, did nothing to stop it and profited from it.

But Kennedy said those living in the communities countered that police were only interested in locking up as many people as they could as part of a conspiracy to destroy the community.

Kennedy said each side had a point and each side was wrong.

“The crime is real and overwhelmingly the arrests are legitimate. But we are destroying the village in order to save it,” he wrote. “And none of this gets rid of the crime. The drug markets and violence continue to exist.”

Kennedy didn’t try to tackle the long-standing racial issues and their lengthy back story. The conversations that formed the basis for the DMI strategy were about drug markets.

It was hard for some on the Memphis team to believe that hardened drug dealers would respond when the threat of arrest, prison time, drive-by shootings and gang turf tripwires hadn’t discouraged them from the life.

Nevertheless, when they returned to Memphis, the planning began for several months of undercover drug buys in the Springdale area by the police Organized Crime Unit. For months, the officers bought repeatedly from dozens of street dealers in a two-mile radius of Springdale. And they recorded the drug buys on video – not just one buy but multiple buys.

Prosecutors reviewed the cases against more than 60 men and women and prosecuted 51 of them. Five were indicted on federal drug charges. Six others – five men and a woman – were the first candidates for the Memphis DMI program.

“It was taking a look at individuals who obviously were involved in drug trafficking, but a little more on the periphery – not an extensive drug record,” Gibbons said.

A few days after New Year’s Day, police descended on the Springdale area serving the arrest warrants and putting up a fresh crop of plywood with blue stenciling on the drug houses in the area. The neighborhood grapevine buzzed anew about the heavy police presence.

It was still buzzing when on the coldest day of the year – Jan. 8 – the Memphis group knocked on six doors in the Springdale area. The temperature never got near freezing and was in single digits part of the day.

No one inside the six houses knew they were coming. No one approaching the doorsteps knew what the reaction inside would be.

It was the first indication the six people involved and inside those homes had that they had sold drugs to undercover Memphis police officers and had been recorded on video making multiple drug sales to the officers.

The father of one of the six was among those who had been arrested.

When the DMI team knocked on his door, his grandmother answered.

“He did not want his grandmother to know why we were standing at the door,” Peggie Russell, the DMI coordinator and a University of Memphis researcher and community resource specialist, said. “He said, ‘It’s OK grandmother.’”

Howard Eddings, president of the Memphis Leadership Foundation, said the young man didn’t deny he was a drug dealer.

“He wanted to basically shut the door,” Eddings told The Memphis News. “She might not have known exactly what he was doing. She was an older lady. He didn’t like the fact that we were knocking on her door.”

He and the other five got a letter asking them to come to Springdale Baptist Church a few days later. If they came, the letter from Police Director Larry Godwin said they would not be prosecuted this time.

For Hughes the pledge was crucial. He wanted to be able to say, “I give you my word, you will not be arrested,” with certainty and conviction.

Five of the six showed up at Hughes’ church where the congregation and other community leaders were waiting in the sanctuary. On the walls were posters of the 51 defendants who weren’t getting the chance they were about to get. The posters included the possible prison sentences those defendants faced.

The five “guests” sat in a reserved front row with a friend or family member.

Their faces blurred in a video of the event, they listened as Assistant District Attorney Amy Weirich told them, “We’ve had it,” and called their names individually. “The Memphis Police Department is tired of picking up dead bodies in the street.”

Russell remembers some denying they had done anything wrong. Then police showed the video.

They watched video of themselves selling drugs numerous times to undercover police officers.

The woman’s denials stopped.

“She got caught during the first time. I don’t necessarily know that we believed it was the first time,” Eddings remembered. “But she was so embarrassed as a mom who had small kids who was put in the spotlight. … All of her junk is coming to the forefront.”

Russell said some of the others were telling those who came with them that they had no idea why they were summoned to the church.

“You’re sitting there and you’re telling your family member, ‘No, I didn’t do it,’” Russell said. “Then the tape started rolling … and you see yourself. It’s reality. You can’t hide it. I think that was a turning point for most of them.”

Hughes told the group of five that the church cared about them and was willing to help.

Some of his congregants spoke up too.

“Our congregants said, ‘Listen, we’re tired of watching you sell drugs. We’re tired of being afraid of coming in and out of our communities. We want our community back,’” Hughes recalled. “During the call in, some of our residents had an opportunity to look in their faces and say, ‘We are tired of the way you’ve been running down our communities. This used to be a wonderful community where people had pride, where people had hope. … Now a lot of us are afraid.’”

After the tough talk and the confrontation came a commitment to work with the five DMI candidates. Eddings emphasized there are no guarantees.

“We were careful not to promise them that we were going to get them jobs or that even if we could get them a job that it was going to pay them something comparable to what they were making on the street,” he said. ”We said the opposite. We can’t do that at all. But one thing we do know for sure. If you stop doing what you’re doing, you don’t go to jail.”

Russell, who gets much of the credit for pushing to give DMI a try and has become the program’s de facto coordinator, described the response as “something totally new.”

“It’s not about those five,” she said. “They are supposed to stay out of trouble for two years to make the necessary transition in their lives. But it’s really about the Hollywood Springdale community, changing the response of the community to open air drug sales.”

Eddings was surprised by the response.

“Most of these guys’ mamas know what they’re doing. But to know now that other mamas and other grandparents and other church leaders and the community have their eye on you, it has a different motivation,” he said. “Some of these guys are hardened. They’ve been doing it for a while and they’ve been out there on the streets. So, not much embarrasses them. But I could tell by looking at them and even some of the denials.”

The Memphis Leadership Foundation already works with convicted felons trying to make the difficult transition after prison. There are even fewer guarantees for those with a substantial prison record.

Marcus, who didn’t want his last name used, vented about how hard it’s been to find a legitimate job since he did prison time in 2006 for felony drug dealing.

“It’s not like people want to sell drugs,” he began. “On a lot of applications they are saying they don’t discriminate. They’re lying. … They’re ready to end the session right then. They might tear up the application in your face.”

If drug dealers like him bring blight to areas like Springdale and violence and a hard life for law-abiding citizens, Marcus said society has responded with its own brand of hardness.

“They ain’t reaching out anymore,” he said. “They expect for the world to be better because we’re building more jails. We’re putting more cops out. If somebody killed me today – the person who killed me, they want to put him in jail. But why put him in jail when y’all treating this man he killed like he’s a nobody anyway.”

Eddings said with criminal records or without, street level drug dealers have problems as they get older because they have no legitimate work history. He started to say there aren’t transferable skills before thinking about it.

“Actually, some of the skills do transfer. They’ve just got to get access,” he said. “It’s really a reshaping, a little bit more recognition that they need to deal with in terms of how they see themselves and how they can use those skills that they utilize on the streets to do something positive and pursue a legitimate way of life.”

The young man Eddings is working with seems not to have hit the wall that Marcus is at yet.

“He is simply trying to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other. They go from having some source of income to having no source of income,” Eddings told The Memphis News. “We’re convincing him now that getting his GED ought to be a decision that he ought to make. He’s been a little slow in that.”

Hughes said he would get the occasional dope boy showing up at his church before DMI.

“Very rarely. I did hear one or two stragglers you come across who say, ‘Yes, I do want to change.’ Often times, it’s usually because of a pending trial or they are in trouble,” he said. “Since that time, we’ve had a lot of people coming, wanting to change their lives.”

Gibbons is reviewing some neighborhoods where DMI might go next but he’s not saying where because of the undercover police work involved. He wants to see it replicated based on lessons learned in Memphis and he hopes to get a federal grant to hire a full-time coordinator.

The sixth man given a chance in the DMI program didn’t come to the church and was prosecuted. He pleaded guilty to five counts of selling drugs and was sentenced to four years in prison and fined $10,000. But the sentence was suspended and he was put on a diversion program.

Weirich recalled Criminal Court Judge John Fowlkes asking the man why he didn’t respond. He told Fowlkes, “It sounded too good to be true.”

...

40. Hodges Devises Task Force for Charter Group -

Millington Mayor Richard Hodges missed some meetings of the Metro Charter Commission because of the early May floods. Millington got the worst of the flooding in Shelby County.

41. Different Mayor, Same Story in Budget Talks -

Memphis has had three mayors since the last budget season at City Hall, and the latest appears to have picked up where the other left off.

Several City Council members are questioning the budget priorities of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr., just as they questioned those of former

42. Sheriff's Race Attracts Hard-Boiled Veterans -

Most of the Democratic and Republican candidates for Shelby County sheriff gathered last month in the office of outgoing Sheriff Mark Luttrell.

43. Economy, Wharton’s Tenure Cited As Reasons for Labor Peace -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. won’t have to factor in pay raises for employees as he puts together his first budget proposal.

The city’s municipal unions have agreed to extend contracts for the next year and forego raises. The union leaders announced the action last week as Wharton gave City Council members a budget preview.

44. Events -

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. will meet today at 9 a.m. at the Center City Commission, 114 N. Main St. For more information, call 575-0540.

45. Events -

Methodist Hospice will hold a grief class today at 1 p.m. at Saint Luke’s United Methodist Church, 480 S. Highland St. Classes discuss a broad range of issues related to grief. Registration is not required. For more information, contact Mary Elizabeth Jones at 516-1604 or jonemar@methodisthealth.org.

46. State’s Nuisance Law Helps Nab Three Memphis Cops -

Three Memphis police officers could be indicted by a federal grand jury as early as today on conspiracy, bribery and extortion charges.

Timothy Green, Christopher Crawford and Michael Young were arrested Friday and charged in a complaint.

47. Wooddale Condos’ Future Uncertain After Nuisance Action -

A 43-year old set of decaying condominiums in Fox Meadows got a new crop of plywood and fresh signs this week warning people to keep out.

The Wooddale Condominiums, 4876 Winchester Road, also got a court order from the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office declaring the complex a nuisance under state law.

48. Godwin Acknowledges Political Aspect of Crime-Fighting -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. recently nominated Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin for reappointment. It confirmed that the longest-serving police director during the 18-year tenure of Mayor Willie Herenton has made the transition to a new mayor.

49. Events -

The Memphis Business Xchange will hold a networking luncheon today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bonefish Grill, 1250 N. Germantown Parkway. Cost is $30 in advance and $35 on site. To register, visit www.networktn.com.

50. Wharton Ditches Three Division Directors, Retains Others -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. firmed up most of his division directors Tuesday.

He moved to reappoint seven division directors and notified three others they will not be reappointed in a possible realignment of their divisions.

51. Godwin on Agenda For Midtown Security Org -

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin is on the agenda for the Wednesday meeting of the Midtown Security Community.

52. 2009 Year In Review -

2009 was a year without a script – and plenty of improvising on the political stage.

It was supposed to be an off-election year except in Arlington and Lakeland.

2008 ended with voters in the city and county approving a series of changes to the charters of Memphis and Shelby County governments. Those changes were supposed to set a new direction for both entities, kicking into high gear in 2010 and ultimately culminating two years later.

53. Bidding Process Almost Over For Monitoring Bracelets -

Bids are due at the end of this week from companies that can deliver a new high-tech device to the Memphis Police Department that will help officers keep an eye on criminal offenders.

The product is a one-piece ankle bracelet that will be attached to repeat offenders once they’re released from jail. The city has set aside $2 million in federal money to pay for the first year of the project, which reflects MPD’s continued shift toward more data and statistics to aid in crime fighting.

54. Mayor’s Homeless Strategy Meets Skepticism -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is a regular at the Starbucks at Union Avenue and McLean Boulevard.
Last week, as criticism began for his new police initiative to deal with the homeless, Wharton stopped for a coffee on his way to a town hall meeting and encountered another regular at the next table.
“There’s a homeless gentleman who I see there every morning. He will not accept handouts,” Wharton told reporters this week. “He’s just the kindest gentleman you will find anywhere. I don’t offer to buy him anything. I sit down at the table next to him – he doesn’t want to be disturbed.”
Someone at another table snapped a cell phone picture of Wharton in seeming indifference to the homeless man sitting a table away. The picture went viral as critics of the new direction made their case before Wharton had rolled it out.
“They created this story … which is just an outright lie,” Wharton continued. “That hurts.”
The complex relationship between two Memphians who see each other several times a week but don’t really know each other demonstrates how complex the problem of the homeless is in Memphis, and perhaps in other cities.

55. City’s Dilemma: Fight Crime or Bust Blight? -

Some Memphis City Council members question whether the city’s crackdown on crime is coming at the expense of efforts to eliminate or prevent blight in neighborhoods.

That sentiment surfaced in a council committee session this week. It came the same week that Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. talked of an emerging anti-crime strategy at his first town hall meeting.

56. Wharton Preps For Gun Violence Focus -

By now, it should be apparent newly-minted Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. has a lot on his plate.

Between cleaning up the city’s animal shelter, unveiling his agenda in a breakfast speech to The Leadership Academy and encouraging executives of a major Memphis employer not to relocate their operations, the past few days alone have been frenetic. And his to-do list keeps getting longer – mostly by choice.

57. Wharton Not Ready For Police Leadership Move -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. doesn’t appear likely to change the leadership of the Memphis Police Department anytime soon.

He told The Daily News his answer to the lingering question about whether he’ll keep Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin will be made “at the right time” and that he wants to zero in on several points of interest before he makes any decision about the department’s leadership.

58. Scrap Metal Rules Spit-Shined -

Once Memphis City Council members thought they had solved the problem of scrap metal looting, they faced another problem – ending a legal stalemate with scrap metal dealers who sued the city of Memphis two years ago over the ordinance.

59. Council to Tease out Snarls Surrounding Lee Case -

The city of Memphis, under Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery, has hired a private attorney to recoup settlement money the city paid this summer to the former head of the city-owned utility company.

60. Charges Against White Station Principals Deeply Rooted -

When the school year began about two months ago, city school teachers and administrators across the city watched a video featuring Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Bill Gibbons.

61. Police Director Larry Godwin -

As the contenders for Memphis mayor have been on the road this month, another campaign has been under way.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin has been making the case for the signature strategy of his five years as top cop – Blue CRUSH.

62. A Mayor’s Race to Remember: Candidates pump up the drama as election nears -

The field is set at 25 candidates and Memphians start voting Sept. 25 in a mayor’s race that has been neither a surprise nor the expected.

But there’s no guarantee the election will settle what the post-Willie Herenton era will look like. Too many other events still have to be decided.

63. Events -

The Association of Fundraising Professionals will hold its monthly luncheon today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Christian Brothers University, 650 East Parkway. To register, visit www.afpmemphis.org.

64. Events -

Talk Shoppe will present “How to Buy Bank-Owned Real Estate Foreclosures” today from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, 3693 Tyndale Drive. For more information, call Jo Garner at 482-0354.

65. Events -

The Memphis Rotary Club will meet today at noon at the University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. Dr. James Eason, a transplant surgeon, will speak. Lunch is $18 per person and reservations are required. For reservations, e-mail Taylor Hughes at taylor@memphisrotary.org.

66. Carpenter Pledges MPD Changes; Wharton’s Support Grows -

For the past two years there has been a steady political drumbeat to increase the number of officers on the Memphis police force. Few have ignored it.

It was something that most of the nine first-term Memphis City Council members followed into office in 2007. And the call for “more boots on the street” also prompted an intense council discussion of whether residency requirements for police should be eased to help reach a force of more than 2,500 officers.

67. UPDATE: Lowery Appoints Coleman-Davis Deputy City Attorney -  

Memphis Mayor Myron Lowery has appointed his choice to be city attorney to be deputy city attorney until the City Council can act on her nomination.

The naming of Veronica Coleman-Davis to the number two spot is the latest twist in a controvery that began minutes after Lowery took the oath of office Friday and fired City Attorney Elbert Jefferson.

Jefferson then filed suit in Chancery Court against Lowery contesting Lowery's decision to fire him. Chancellor Walter Evans issued a preliminary injunction preventing Jefferson's dismissal at least until a hearing before Evans Wednesday afternoon.

On the Drake & Zeke Show on radio station 98.1 The Max, Lowery said until the council acts, Coleman-Davis, a former U.S. Attorney, will be deputy director. Her appointment to that position is immediate and does not require council approval.

Meanwhile, Jefferson's attorney, Ricky E. Wilkins, told The Daily News her confirmation Tuesday as City Attorney would have to come after a council vote to back Jefferson's firing.

"We will ask the court to continue to keep that injunction in place throughout the tenure of Myron Lowery as mayor pro tempore," Wilkins said. "If Myron is able to get the necessary votes to terminate Mr. Jefferson and to get the votes to replace him with a substitute city attorney ... then that's what the process calls for and I think Mr. Jefferson understands that. But Myron Lowery cannot ignore and violate the city charter to satisfy his own political means."

Jefferson was at City Hall over the weekend, escorted by City Council attorney Allan Wade, according to Lowery.

After taking the oath of office Friday afternoon from U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays, Lowery told reporters he had offered Jefferson a severance and a chance to resign the appointed post. Jefferson refused which apparently surprised Lowery since Jefferson had tendered his resignation to outgoing Mayor Willie Herenton earlier in the month and Herenton refused to accept it.

Lowery met with Jefferson in a City Hall stairwell after the swearing in ceremony. Lowery emerged without Jefferson and told reporters he had fired the attorney. Several sources said later that Jefferson was escorted from the building and his parking pass and other identification taken as he was walked to his car and out of City Hall.

Wilkins termed the forcible exit a "low blow" and a "fairly drastic action."

“The legal department has almost been a black hole for dollars,” Lowery said Friday, minutes after the stairwell meeting. “I think that we spend too much money on attorney fees. I think that our city attorney has allowed this to happen without adequate controls on this. And I’m looking for stronger controls in the city attorney’s office.”

“If the mayor pro tempore doesn’t have the power, who does?” Lowery said. “Of course I do.”

Power play

In addition to Coleman-Davis, Lowery will also take the nomination of former council member Jack Sammons as his Chief Administrative Officer to the council Tuesday.

Herenton CAO Keith McGee had retired effective July 4. But when Herenton moved back his resignation date to July 30, McGee extended his stay on a voluntary basis. McGee is working with Lowery on a transitional basis. Lowery said he had hoped Jefferson would work under the same arrangement.

“He wanted to keep the title and the salary that comes with it. So I had to make a decision,” Lowery said. “I wish he had accepted it. … He’s forced me to take this action.”

Lowery said he wants Coleman Davis to examine past city legal bills and expenses.

“I have heard that several individuals have been hired … in the legal department to fill vacancies who were scheduled to start work Monday. I just found this out,” Lowery told reporters. “I want to make sure that we don’t have cronies of our former legal division director who have been hired.”

Those appointments will be examined.

“I don’t want any friends of the division director receiving dollars or any backroom deals outside the scope of the City Council. You know what I’m talking about,” he told reporters. “That is not going to occur under my administration.”

‘Hard work and enthusiasm’

As Lowery moved into the seventh floor mayor’s office Friday at City Hall, council member Harold Collins moved into the council chairman’s office on the fifth floor as part of the transition in power following Herenton’s resignation. Collins indicated his displeasure with the firing of Jefferson and said he wants Lowery and Jefferson to be at Tuesday's council committee sessions to tell their sides of the story.

“It’s a new day at City Hall,” Lowery told a crowd in the Hall of Mayors the day after Herenton’s farewell address in the same hall. Lowery’s guests at the ceremony were Herenton, former Mayor Dick Hackett and J.O. Patterson Jr., the city’s first African-American mayor who served in the top post for 20 days after the resignation of Mayor Wyeth Chandler in 1982. Patterson was City Council chairman at the time. Like Lowery, Patterson also ran in the special election that followed and lost to Hackett, who lost to Herenton nine years later by 142 votes.

“With new life, new individuals, comes hope and promise,” Lowery said. “As mayor, I will promote a moral philosophy of customer service – customer-driven government. … I’m here also to say that I’m going to promote ethical leadership in government.”

One priority will be a new crime fighting strategy, although Lowery was quick to say he likes the direction the police department and those efforts have taken under current Police Director Larry Godwin. The other immediate priority is a more aggressive city cleanup campaign.

Lowery didn’t refer to Herenton directly in any of his comments, but the contrasts were apparent.

“We will be energetic in city government – more productive There’s a phrase, ‘We need to be workhorses, not showhorses.’” Lowery said. “You will not get a lot of catchy phrases from me. But you will get a lot of hard work and enthusiasm.”

The remark came the day after Herenton’s farewell address and press conference in which Herenton repeatedly invoked what looks to be the campaign slogan “Keep It Real” in his bid for the Democratic congressional nomination in 2010.

“As everyone knows, we’ve lost many people during the past several years. I’m going to say come home to Memphis,” Lowery said.

The remark is in contrast to one of Herenton’s most cited quotes from his 18-year tenure. When asked about citizens moving out of Memphis for the suburbs, Herenton responded by saying he had no problem with that and adding “goodbye.”

...

68. UPDATE: Lowery Promises 'New Day' for Memphis -

Memphis Mayor Myron Lowery fired City Attorney Elbert Jefferson on his first day in office, apparently during a meeting in a City Hall stairwell.

After taking the oath of office Friday afternoon from U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays, Lowery told reporters he had offered Jefferson a severance and a chance to resign the appointed post. Jefferson refused and Lowery met with him in a City Hall stairwell after the swearing in ceremony. Lowery emerged without Jefferson and told reporters he had fired the attorney.

69. Court Reverses Police Captain Rank Decision -

A Tennessee Court of Appeals decision issued this week appears to reopen the 2005 decision by the Memphis Police Department’s brass to abolish the rank of 30-year captain.

The appeals court decision reverses a Shelby County Chancery Court dismissal of the claim filed on behalf of city police officers stung by the elimination of the captain rank. The move was Police Director Larry Godwin’s attempt to save more than $1 million in the midst of a city budget shortfall several years ago, and at the time officers eligible for the 30-year rank were given the choice to either accept a demotion or retire.

70. Nuisance Actions Keep Piling Up -

When Memphis police arrived to close Hughes Uptown this past weekend, the North Memphis nightspot’s security guards bailed out of their golf cart and left behind two handguns – a .45 caliber and a .40 caliber semi automatic pistol.

71. Police Push For Motel Demolition -

The owner of a vacant airport area motel described as resembling war-torn Baghdad is due in Memphis Environmental Court this morning.

The Shelby Inn at 1970 East Shelby Drive and Interstate 55 was secured by authorities a week ago as a nuisance under state law.

72. Godwin’s Ambitions Centered on Fighting Crime -

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin thought about running for mayor in the coming October special mayoral election. But he decided against it.

73. Events -

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners will hold committee meetings today beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the fourth floor committee room of the Shelby County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St. For more information, call Steve Summerall at 545-4301.

74. Events -

MPACT Memphis will hold a Community Service Committee meeting today at 6 p.m. at Café Eclectic, 603 N. McLean Blvd. To R.S.V.P., contact Audra Bares or Chad Lopes at memberconnections@mpactmemphis.org or 528-8340.

75. City to Seek Neighborhood Improvement Funding -

The city of Memphis is planning to apply for $64 million from the federal government’s second round of Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development got a little less than $2 billion of the so-called stimulus package Congress passed earlier this year to divvy up among states, local governments and nonprofit groups. Memphis city officials by July 17 will have applied for a chunk of that funding.

76. Ex-Police Officer Sentenced to Life Plus 255 Years -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a former Memphis police officer convicted of stealing drugs, money and merchandise from drug dealers to a prison term of life plus 255 years.

77. UPDATE: Council Passes Guns In Bars Sign Resolution -

The Memphis City Council wants restaurants and bars that serve alcohol to post signs banning guns inside their businesses.

The City Council passed a resolution Tuesday encouraging the signs to be posted in response to a new state law allowing guns inside establishments that serve alcohol. The new law gives those business owners the option of banning guns by displaying a sign clearly stating their establishment’s choice.

78. Public Nuisance Declaration Latest Chapter for Marina Cove -

The end could be near for the Marina Cove apartments at 5505 Winchester Road in Hickory Hill now that public nuisance charges have been filed against the complex and police have secured the sprawling property.

79. Officials Try to Force Marina Cove Owner's Hand With Nuisance Charges -

City and county officials announced Wednesday that they had filed public nuisance charges against the Marina Cove apartment complex at 5505 Winchester Road in Hickory Hill and that the Memphis Police Department’s Organized Crime Unit had secured the 394-unit, 24.16 acre property.

80. Luttrell Upset Over Possible Sheriff Cuts -

Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell rarely gets rattled.

That’s what made his opposition to a plan this week to lay off 100 county government employees, including 31 people in his department, so unusual.

81. Green Paper Trail Leads to Ware -

It hasn’t been a good week and a half for City Council member Barbara Swearengen Ware.

She celebrated her birthday last week with a custom she picked up from a caterer delivering the council members their lunch at City Hall. During a break in committee action, as reporters and other council members wondered about several $1 bills pinned to her red jacket, Ware explained that she had never heard of the custom before but was game for it.

82. Ware Implicated but Not Charged in Bribery at Clerk's Office -

Memphis City Council member Barbara Swearengen Ware has been implicated but not charged in bribery allegations at the county clerk’s office.

83. MPA Turmoil Behind Police Indictment -

The former head of the Memphis Police Association is charged with embezzling money from the police union.

Tommy Turner, who is on paid leave, was indicted by the Shelby County grand jury for stealing more than $10,000 during a two-and-a-half-year period starting in November 2004. The indictment was made public when Turner turned himself in Tuesday evening. He was released on a $10,000 bond.

84. Tougher Stance Toward Trespassers Makes Dent in Crime -

The Ridgeway Station of the Memphis Police Department recently was considered the most violent and crime-plagued precinct in Memphis. And as the police department began to look at crime by statistical standards, the area also stood out for the number of apartment complexes it had.

85. Law Enforcement Officials to Push Anti-Crime Legislation -

Burglar A breaks into five homes in Tennessee in one day. All five burglaries are reported to police. Burglar A is charged with aggravated burglary. Sometime later, he commits another burglary, is caught and convicted. At his sentencing hearing on that conviction, how many prior offenses has Burglar A committed for purposes of determining how much jail time he will receive?

86. Godwin Optimistic About Cop Policy -

In a month’s time, the debate about how to hire more Memphis police officers seems to bear out staying at least within Shelby County.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said this week that he expects to have a full complement of nearly 2,600 police officers by 2011.

87. Cop Hiring Incentives Clear Council - A month after the Memphis City Council voted down a plan to hire police officers within a 20 miles radius of Shelby County, the council Tuesday approved a package of hiring incentives that keeps the hiring within the county.

The incentives were passed on an eventful day at City Hall in which Mayor Willie Herenton announced the administration is moving the hiring of police officers from the police department to the city’s human resources department.

Some council members who opposed the ability to hire police officers who didn’t live in the city or Shelby County have also questioned how the police department was hiring officers.

In announcing the move, Herenton denied the police hiring process has been unfair.

Council member Bill Morrison proposed the new incentives that would apply to officers hired who apply after Jan. 1. The incentives are:

-- Up to $5,000 on any existing student loans.

-- $3,500 in moving expenses if the new officer moves within Shelby County.

-- $5,000 in moving expense if the new officer moves within Memphis.

The incentives would remain in force for those hired until the department reaches its full compliment.

Morrison removed plans to include a hiring bonus that had drawn opposition from Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin. Godwin as well as Herenton argued a bonus would hurt morale by appearing to give preferential treatment to some officers.

Godwin said his department appears to be on target to hire its full compliment of nearly 2,600 officers by 2011. He also said a local advertising campaign that began last month has produced a torrent of applications.

Some council members contended that the police department needed the ability to hire officers who live outside Shelby County to meet the goal. Other council members were just as adamant that police officers should at least live within Shelby County and preferably in Memphis.

The plan to allow hiring within 20 miles outside the county line failed on a 6-7 vote.

Morrison’s resolution passed Tuesday on an 11-2 vote. Only council members Joe Brown and Wanda Halbert voted no.

Read more about the latest chapter in the council’s ongoing debate about beefing up the police force in Thursday’s edition of The Daily News.

The council also approved a resolution on a unanimous vote that would end the city’s share of funding for the local Health Department at the end of this month.

The pull out of city funding in the jointly funded department may not be final however. Shelby County commissioners are expected to discuss today a resolution that would extend talks between city and county leaders about the joint operation through January. Council members question why the city of Memphis helps fund the department but no other municipalities in the county provide funding.

Council members took the action in case the talks go nowhere, so the city won’t be bound under contract for another fiscal year.

The city and county jointly fund several government agencies. The health department is the only one governed by a contract. The other shared entities are provided for in the annual budget process which begins in April.

Herenton provided the council with a decidedly downbeat preview of what is to come in April. He confirmed earlier reports in The Daily News that his administration would seek to cut the number of city employees with a buyout plan. The specific plan is to cut 100 positions from the city payroll through one time only buyouts to counter a $25 million budget shortfall projected for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

An $8.8 million city budget deficit is projected for the current fiscal year that ends June 30.

...

88. Council Approves Cop Hiring Incentives - A month after the Memphis City Council voted down a plan to hire police officers within a 20 miles radius of Shelby County, the council tonight approved a package of hiring incentives that keeps the hiring within the county.

The incentives were passed on an eventful day at City Hall in which Mayor Willie Herenton announced the administration is moving the hiring of police officers from the police department to the city’s human resources department.

Some council members who opposed the ability to hire police officers who didn’t live in the city or Shelby County have also questioned how the police department was hiring officers.

In announcing the move, Herenton denied the police hiring process has been unfair.

Council member Bill Morrison proposed the new incentives that would apply to officers hired who apply after Jan. 1. The incentives are:

-- Up to $5,000 on any existing student loans.

-- $3,500 in moving expenses if the new officer moves within Shelby County.

-- $5,000 in moving expense if the new officer moves within Memphis.

The incentives would remain in force for those hired until the department reaches its full compliment.

Morrison removed plans to include a hiring bonus that had drawn opposition from Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin. Godwin as well as Herenton argued a bonus would hurt morale by appearing to give preferential treatment to some officers.

Godwin said his department appears to be on target to hire its full compliment of nearly 2,600 officers by 2011. He also said a local advertising campaign that began last month has produced a torrent of applications.

Some council members contended that the police department needed the ability to hire officers who live outside Shelby County to meet the goal. Other council members were just as adamant that police officers should at least live within Shelby County and preferably in Memphis.

The plan to allow hiring within 20 miles outside the county line failed on a 6-7 vote.

Morrison’s resolution passed tonight on an 11-2 vote. Only council members Joe Brown and Wanda Halbert voted no.

Read more about the latest chapter in the council’s ongoing debate about beefing up the police force in Thursday’s edition of The Daily News.

The council also approved a resolution on a unanimous vote that would end the city’s share of funding for the local Health Department at the end of this month.

The pull out of city funding in the jointly funded department may not be final however. Shelby County commissioners are expected to discuss Wednesday a resolution that would extend talks between city and county leaders about the joint operation through January. Council members question why the city of Memphis helps fund the department but no other municipalities in the county provide funding.

Council members took the action in case the talks go nowhere, so the city won’t be bound under contract for another fiscal year.

The city and county jointly fund several government agencies. The health department is the only one governed by a contract. The other shared entities are provided for in the annual budget process which begins in April.

Herenton provided the council with a decidedly downbeat preview of what is to come in April. He confirmed earlier reports in The Daily News that his administration would seek to cut the number of city employees with a buyout plan. The specific plan is to cut 100 positions from the city payroll through one time only buyouts to counter a $25 million budget shortfall projected for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

An $8.8 million city budget deficit is projected for the current fiscal year that ends June 30.

...

89. Residency Decision Uncovers Underlying Attitudes -

It may have been the most important debate the Memphis City Council has had since the group of 13 took office in January. And it may affect the way council members see each other for quite some time.

90. Family Safety Center Seeks Home -

Shelby County’s new Family Safety Center might have a director. Its organizers know what services they will offer troubled families. They even will be able to do more than provide a fleeting shelter to those trying to escape abusive and violent relationships.

91. Fowlkes Seeks Better Way To Treat Criminals in System -

When he was an assistant public defender and an assistant district attorney in the 1980s, John Fowlkes used to measure whether it was a busy day by if he could carry all of his case files under one arm. One arm was busy. Two arms meant he was slammed.

92. Events -

Talk Shoppe will present “How to Buy and Sell 108 Investment Properties in 180 Days” today from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South, 3693 Tyndale Drive. For more information, call Jo Garner at 759-7808.

93. Shuttered Motels Head to Court -

The owners of five Memphis motels that were closed last week as nuisances under Tennessee law are due in Shelby County Environmental Court today.

The closings by the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office and the Memphis Police Department Organized Crime Unit (OCU) are the latest in a prostitution crackdown called Operation Heartbreak Hotel. District Attorney General Bill Gibbons has urged the City Council to make it harder for the owners and others getting into the motel business to open their doors.

94. Cash Prepares for New School Year -

In less than a month on the job, Memphis City Schools superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash has restructured the school system’s top ranks and proposed eliminating 142 management positions. He’s talked compromise with Memphis City Council members and prepared for the opening of schools later this month.

95. District Attorney’s Office Makes New Assignments -

Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons has made new assignments for his top assistants effective July 1.

Under the front office shuffle, prosecutor Paul Hagerman will become special assistant for Organized Crime Prosecution. Those duties will include filing nuisance actions in court, which has become a major thrust of local anti-crime strategies. The nuisance closings have included several strip clubs as well as suspected drug and prostitution havens.

96. MPD Gains As Council Weighs Recruiting Future -

The Memphis Police Department grew last week, as 50 new police officers took the oath and received their badges in a ceremony at World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church in Hickory Hill.

The graduation of the 99th class of recruits since formal police training began in 1937 comes as police brass and city leaders continue to talk about the goal of a police force totaling 2,500 men and women in blue.

97. DataDot Technology Could Change Property Protection -

Property-related crimes in Shelby County seem to be down this year, according to a report recently issued by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. The same goes in the city, as Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin has said that so far this year, overall crime in the city is down 7 percent.

98. Law Enforcement Takes Prostitution Fight to New Level -

The same week the city's strip clubs lost a key round in Memphis federal court, Memphis police and the Shelby County District Attorney General's office were opening another front in their campaign against prostitution.

99. Crime Center Might Not be Crystal Ball, But Close Enough -

Memphis Police raised the curtain this week on the Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) that goes online in late May or early June.

The coordinated set of video and audio monitors, as well as computer hardware and software in the command center, are the latest part of an emerging three-year strategy by Police Director Larry Godwin.

100. City Council to DiscussHickory Hill Initiative -      The Memphis City Council today will discuss a resolution accepting half of $2.2 million in federal funding for the Memphis Police Department's SAFEWAYS project, an effort to crack down on crime in Hickory Hill apartment