GOOD BLUE: Kelvin Cowans takes readers inside the lives of Memphis and Shelby County Law Enforcement officers. Just as a neighborhood should not be judged by the actions of a few bad apples, neither should Law Enforcement agencies. In partnership with the new Community Police Relations Project, the New Tri-State Defender and its "Good Blue" column are here to share in-depth and inspiring commentary on a weekly basis with the community. Our goal is for the community to see that the only difference between them and good police officers is the Law. This week's focus is on Deputy Directory Anthony Berryhill.
Memphis Police Department Deputy Director Anthony Berryhill has 29 years of experience as a police officer. A graduate of Carver High School Class of 1977, this former three sport athlete had a future of college sports on his radar. Yes, long before he thought anything about someone breaking a speed limit, he was traveling at a pretty fast pace himself. "Basketball, football and track," he proudly said while raring back in his chair and piercing his eye's across the City of Memphis skyline. From that point on I forgot that I was in his 12th floor office because his conversation, equivalent to a glass of water, made me feel like we were on a park bench down in Handy Park on Beale Street.
Memphian Shaneka "Duke" Graham has overcome the formidable odds stacked against her to graduate from Lane College with her bachelor's degree in business in just three years instead of the standard four. On Sunday, June 23, Graham, who was salutatorian of Northside High School's Class of 2010, will receive her degree in the gymnasium of her college in Jackson, Tennessee.
It has been a long road for the young mother, who was raised in Memphis' Dixie Homes public housing project, where she shared a two-bedroom apartment with her seven siblings and their disabled parents. "Where I come from has always been my stepping stone to do better in life," Graham said. "The circumstances back then have made me value the way I live today."
Graham's roadmap out of poverty included consistent encouragement from her parents, as well as guidance and mentoring from the Memphis-based RISE Foundation, a nonprofit that empowers low-income Memphians to transform their financial wellbeing.
The City of Memphis is launching a mobility solution to help increase the safety of city workers and reduce numerous man-hours of redundant paperwork as it enacts programs to restructure neglected areas of the city and manage code violations more efficiently.
After the death of an employee on the job and reports of citizens violating ordinances, the city sought to improve zoning regulation enforcement, neighborhood clean-ups and visibility into the location of city workers. Xora's StreetSmart application, which operates on the AT&T network, is expected to help the City of Memphis eliminate man-hours lost to redundant, formerly paper-based processes that typically accompany its urban restoration programs while also providing features that allow the city to keep better tabs on worker movement.
The 3rd Annual Boot Camp for Dads was a great success. I saw one after the other engaged in a great conversation about fatherhood and what it means to be a father. Both young and old — men talked about their idea of this fatherhood thing. One thing is true —we all know we have to do a better job of saving our children.
During the Locker Room Chat session, Reginald White, Michael Adrian Davis, and Rev. Hermon Jackson all asked the same questions — where do we go from here? How do we make a plan from here? Where do we take this knowledge that has been given to us? We present it here, at the Training Camp for Dads!
Tuesday night in a marathon budget session, the Memphis City Council took on some of the tough decisions necessary to right the fiscal ship of the city. Facing scrutiny and not so veiled threats from the State Comptroller's Office along with pressure from employees, (particularly public safety officers) to restore previously reduced pay, this Council finds itself in a bed of thorns with few roses.
Many city employees packed the chambers to watch the proverbial sausage being made. Facing significant debt, declining property values and property ownership (taxpayers), increasing costs, and seemingly higher demands on and for city services, this process can't help but be a nasty one.
With each passing day, the local news features story after story about gun crimes in our city. Memphis Mayor, A.C. Wharton Jr. and his latest initiative, Memphis Gun Down are saying, "Enough is Enough!"
The Memphis Gun Down program is a five pronged approach to fight gun violence and make the streets of Memphis safer for all citizens. Suppression, community mobilization, youth opportunities, intervention, and organizational change and development are the steps this plan is taking to curb Memphis violence. The ultimate goal of Memphis Gun Down is to decrease gun violence by 10% city-wide and by 20% in South Memphis and Frayser.
Jazz & Memphis' legacy of world-renowned African-American jazz artists will be celebrated Friday, June 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the Historic Daisy Theater on Beale Street. The National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) founder, Dr. Ronald Myers, will join local Juneteenth Freedom & Heritage Festival founder and NJOF board member, Glynn Johns Reed, in collaborating with the Memphis Black Arts Alliance's Jazz-A-F!RE to debut a new Memphis tradition. This event will honor the African-American jazz legacy of internationally acclaimed Memphis musicians saxophonists Charles Lloyd, George Coleman & Frank Strozier, pianists Phineas Newborn & Harold Mabern and the legendary Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra.
Following the Lunceford tradition of professional musician-educators, teachers at MBAA's FireHouse Community Arts Academy and friends have formed the Jazz-AF!RE Ensemble. This ensemble which began performing monthly at the FireHouse in 2009, will headline the evening's entertainment. Performers include: Naomi Moody on vocals; Nokie Taylor, trumpet; Kent Suggs, bass; Stephen Lee, keyboard; James Sexton, percussion; and, Lance Thompson, vocals/guitar. FireHouse Jazz-A-F!RE BYOI (Bring Your Own Instrument) favorites, singers and musicians will also perform. Dr. Myers, a physician and an acclaimed musician (piano and trumpet), is the national Juneteenth Jazz artist and will be featured.