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VOL. 131 | NO. 208 | Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Bill Dries

Last Word: Stop & Frisk, Council Day and The Big 12 Holds What It's Got

By Bill Dries

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We had quite the conversation with the two leaders of the Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission about “stop and frisk” and what will be in the upcoming draft of a new Operation: Safe Community plan for Memphis.

Bill Gibbons and Harold Collins are a key part of the larger conversation about crime and the criminal justice system that we’ve watched take shape over several years now.

The crime commission has hired former NYC police commissioner Ray Kelly as a consultant and Kelly is among those associated with that city’s controversial and ultimately flawed use of what has come to be called “stop and frisk.”

Gibbons and Collins talked about the principle as opposed to how it is carried out. They also made it clear that some of the broader issues including fines and fees that can keep someone with a minor offense tethered to the system aren’t necessarily on their plate. The distinction is they are saying those and other issues are relevant but that the crime commission’s focus is on the statistics – the crime numbers and bringing them down.

Their appearance on the WKNO TV show Behind The Headlines is the first of two conversations with them about what is ahead. The second will show up as a transcript in our weekly The Memphis News in the next week or so. You can see the full half hour of the television show here.

A quick follow up here to our advancer on Monday’s County Commission meeting. Bottom line – as expected county government is getting into the ambulance business at county fire stations starting in January.

This being Tuesday, it is council day across the Main Street Mall and the Memphis City Council seems to have worked out a compromise with Airbnb owners on a permitting system and an occupancy tax that is up for third and final reading today. That makes the main piece of business today the approval of the plan for Highland Strip area development that will set the stage for a TIF to finance public infrastructure improvements between Central and Park Avenues.

Insomnia Cookies is the latest tenant in the University Neighborhood district locating on the strip north of Walker Avenue.

Also in Digest, Accredo expanding in Century Center. And the University of Memphis Wind Ensemble will perform live with a Halloween screening of “Frankenstein” -- the 1931 movie.

No Big 12 expansion for anybody after those leading the schools in the athletic conference met in a Texas hotel Monday.

In our Insurance Emphasis, Clay and Land Insurance has a new leader following Louis Clay, the longtime and well known leader of the company. The new president, Todd Dyson, talks about the insurance business these days which he likens to banking in some ways.

Meanwhile, two executives at Boyle Insurance Agency describe the business insurance market conditions at the moment as soft with rates flat. But commercial auto insurance is rising fast. And there is a trend of claims for employee dishonesty and theft. The newest area of specialized coverage is cyber liability with small to large businesses buying to prepare for the kind of breaches that mean notifying customers their information has been accessed.

And the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance responds to a NerdWallet ranking that judges the department’s website as next to last in usefulness.

What kind of insurance emphasis would this be without some discussion of health insurance. And a regional look at that particular marketplace in turmoil from Associated Press.

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751