Remembering Tyre Nichols
Today I sat near the U.S. Vice President and other officials attending the funeral of Tyre Nichols, whose death has placed Memphis in the national spotlight once again.
Tyre’s family is dealing with intense hurt, and many of our neighbors are experiencing second-hand trauma as well, concerned about how they or their loved ones might be treated by the very officers who are meant to protect us from harm.
We all want to feel safe in our own neighborhoods. I am committed to doing all I can to help Memphis and Shelby County recover that feeling. Together, we will find a way.
A safer community
Restoring safety was the theme of a meeting I attended last week at Lakeland City Hall. Residents packed the room to hear from the Shelby County Sheriff’s office.
The Lakeland Community Advisory Board welcomed Assistant Chief Deputy Anthony Buckner and a half dozen other SCSO leaders and deputies who responded to many questions from citizens.
A healthier community
I was also pleased to join Baptist Hospital leadership and public officials in Arlington to celebrate the opening of the new Baptist Arlington emergency room.
This is the only major medical facility between St. Francis – Bartlett and the City of Jackson, Tennessee, and will prove to be a life-saving center for our entire community, especially as the Blue Oval City development draws new residents to our county.
A smarter community
Also this month, I was happy to take part in the first meeting of the Memphis Shelby County Schools Attendance and Truancy Task Force.
The goal of the task force is to better understand the problem of poor attendance and ultimately to remove whatever barriers are keeping kids out of the classroom.
In 2022, the district’s chronic absenteeism rate hit an eye-popping 25.5%. That means 1 out of every 4 students is missing on any given school day. It’s hard for educators to accomplish very much when the kids aren’t there to learn in the first place.
Along with Superintendent Toni Williams, Chief Shawn Page, Dr. Angela Hargrave and other district leaders, the task force includes MPD Chief C.J. Davis, Councilwoman Rhonda Logan, School Board member Stephanie Love, and many others from Juvenile Court, the District Attorney’s office, and non-profit partner organizations.
The justice system
Leslie Mozingo is one of our newest judicial commissioners, and I was pleased to attend her swearing-in at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center.
Judicial Commissioners are agents of the General Sessions Court and are supervised by the judges, but they are elected to office by the County Commission.
Four additional judicial commissioner positions were created recently in order to serve the needs of a new bail hearing courtroom, where both victims and the accused can be heard prior to bail being set by the court.
On January 10, I attended a training on how the new bail hearing courtroom will work, and I am hopeful it will help our justice system prevent errors such as we saw earlier this month, when a murder suspect was mistakenly released by a judicial commissioner without bond (thankfully, that episode was resolved quickly).
The power of prayer
One last note. I was very glad to receive a blessing from Pastor Larry Ray from Christ Community Church, who gave the invocation at our most recent meeting.
Pastor Ray has been a blessing to my family for many years, and I am always deeply moved by the words of our faith leaders.
A big thank you to all of you who lift the decisions we make to the Almighty.
Upcoming public meetings
Feb 3 – Standing committees, 8:30 a.m.
Feb 6 – Commission meeting, 3 p.m.
Feb 22 – Standing committees, 8:30 a.m.
Feb 27 – Commission meeting, 3 p.m.
Mar 4 – FY24 Budget Retreat, 8:30 a.m.
Stay in touch
If you have a question or concern, email me at email@example.com.
You can speak with the Commission office by calling 901-222-1000.
I always welcome your feedback on Facebook (@CommissionerMickWright) and Twitter (@mickwright).
Thanks for reading.
Shelby County Commission – District 3