The City of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee have developed three interwoven violence prevention initiatives—Operation: Safe Community, the Memphis Youth Violence Prevention Plan, and the Defending Childhood Initiative.
Key components that support the structure of these initiatives include
- developing a strong, representative board of directors and diverse community partners to support implementation;
- involving an independent intermediary to coordinate plan implementation;
- establishing multiple layers of leadership to manage plan implementation;
- outlining clear strategies and objectives in a strategic plan to guide and structure implementation;
- integrating violence prevention and crime reduction approaches within policies to support buy-in and sustainability; and
- limiting overhead costs to provide majority of funding to partners implementing the strategic plans.
The best practices include
- collaborating across initiatives in order to minimize duplication of effort and maximize results;
- involving the highest levels of government and law enforcement ;
- developing a message that connects violence prevention and economic growth;
- creating a unifying mission for collaborations and coalitions that were already in place;
- creating transparency and eliciting feedback from the community;
- developing data-driven initiatives by using data to develop strategic plans, share information with the public, and support implementation;
- coordinating with other initiatives to support sharing data across agencies; and
- conducting both national and local evaluations.
To work collaboratively and minimize violence, Memphis and Shelby County have discovered it is important to
- incorporate an additional layer of leadership to translate the board’s vision to ground-level implementation;
- utilize strategies to keep a large group of stakeholders continuously engaged;
- continuously inventory community assets; and
- have a clear message about the coordinated initiatives to share with the public and stakeholders.
Find additional resources and information about the collaborative work occurring in Memphis and Shelby County.