Skyline of Memphis, Tennessee at sunset

Who We Are


The Memphis Shelby Crime Commission seeks to improve public safety in the Memphis and Shelby County community by identifying and promoting evidence-based best practices.

The Memphis Shelby Crime Commission has created unprecedented partnerships with businesses, schools, neighborhood associations, hospitals, public safety agencies and local violence prevention organizations working to make Memphis and Shelby County a safer place.

Established in April 1997 by the Plough Foundation and Guardsmark, Inc. the Crime Commission is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to bring agencies together to focus on innovative crime prevention methods. Its initiatives are dependent upon private contributions and grants.

A recent partnership with The University of Memphis’ Center for Community Criminology and Research (C3R) enables the Crime Commission to obtain crime trend analysis, research, federal grant writing and management to support its crime-reduction initiative, Operation: Safe Community.

What We Do

In 2005, former Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton, former Memphis Mayor W. W. Herenton, former Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons, and former United States Attorney David Kustoff along with Memphis Tomorrow developed an ambitious plan to accelerate economic growth in Memphis and Shelby County.

The plan, “Memphis Fast Forward,” identified increased public safety as a necessity in order to reach economic growth and prosperity goals in the community. Operation: Safe Community (OSC) is a strategic initiative to reduce crime in Memphis & Shelby County spearheaded by the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.

The crime-reduction initiative, chaired by Bill Gibbons, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, now has 26 strategies, 45 accountable partners, and more than 100 public and private agencies engaged in the implementation of the plan. The goal is to make Memphis-Shelby County one of the safest communities of its size in the nation.