This is a case study of the features and effects of the participation of Memphis, Tennessee, in the U.S. Justice Department’s National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) as a means of countering gun violence and improving criminal investigations and criminal justice collaboration in countering violent crime.
The PSP is a program that assists participating cities in addressing serious violent crime through coordinated training and technical assistance over a 3-year engagement. The PDP operates under a model that emphasizes the development of data-driven, evidence-based strategies tailored to each participating city’s distinctive needs. Memphis participated in the PSP initiative through September 2020. The focus areas for the PSP initiative were gun violence, criminal investigations, and criminal justice coordination. PSP enabled Memphis to establish its capabilities in addressing these three areas. The initiatives and programs implemented resulted in a decrease in crime and victimization. At the close of 2019, violent crime in the city was down just over 13 percent. One contribution to this result was the reform of police and prosecutorial investigative techniques that facilitated the cooperation of victims of violent crime after their reporting. Also, the capacity to investigate homicides was improved through the standardization of the case file. This included the installation of recording equipment in each interview room to facilitate recording all homicide interviews. There were also improvements in the collaboration and communication between investigators and prosecutors in gun cases. Under PSP, Memphis became a model site of collaboration with other state and federal law enforcement and judicial partners. Examples of this collaboration and its benefits are provided in this case study.