Downtown manager says streets safe ahead of NCAA crowds

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — About 20,000 fans are expected in downtown Memphis for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, but while some business owners have concerns after recent crimes, others say they feel safe.

Memphis Police have unveiled a safety plan promising enhanced security protocols.  WREG spoke with a few people working downtown about how they feel about the incoming traffic.

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Downtown Hairstylist Kiya Fields works at Penny Hardaway’s celebrity hair salon.

“I’m going to come to work early and sometimes I have to stay late,” Fields said. “I do be busy because on holidays I run a special and sometimes, when I run that special, of course everybody tries to get their hair done.”

Arcade Restaurant manager Regan Schofield said she’s not worried about more crime, even after a recent fatal fight just across the street from the restaurant.

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“Honestly, no. South Main is a pretty street that doesn’t have a lot of crime or fights or anything like that,” she said. “I think that was just two guys that got into it accidentally happened. Someone got hit and fell on the ground and hit their head. Crime doesn’t scare me around here.”

MPD will monitor the event through the Real Time Crime Center. They have also partnered with downtown restaurants and retailers to extend their hours, enhance lighting, and boost overall vibrancy.

So far this year there have been about 130 incidents downtown reported to MPD, according to the city’s Data Hub.

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