Blue Suede Brigade Back In Action With Improvements

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( - The Blue Suede Brigade has the same name, but an entirely new look!

You'll see them scattered around downtown and area festivals and events as local 24's Dave Detling shows us the new and improved brigade will be putting a stronger emphasis on fighting crime.

Downtown Memphis has more boots on the ground to keep people safe.

The blue suede brigade was quiet for a few months as members revamped their program. Now they're hitting streets with man power and extra tools to keep you safe.

“We are right here at Court Square, Park. Sun Studios is to the east,” said one Blue Suede Brigadier

Its security with a smile.

You're looking at the blue suede brigade version 2.0, complete with Spanish speaking brigadiers.

“I'll typically say something along the lines of speaking Spanish. That's essentially saying hello how are y'all doing? Do you have any questions about the city?”

Robert Montgomery has been with the Blue Suede Brigade since the Downtown Memphis Commission relaunched the program in May.

And it's not just their uniforms that look different.

“We have officers or brigadiers on foot. We have them on segways. We have them on bicycles. We didn't have that before,” says Jay Goff with the Downtown Memphis Commission.

Aside from covering more ground each brigadier goes through security training and is eventually licensed.

“We can do something about aggressive panhandling. We can do something about public nuisance issues and we're here for all of it.”

Make no mistake, they've got the tools to handle crime, but you're more likely to see brigadiers helping Memphians and out of towners with southern hospitality. Just ask Jane Hales and her family visiting from London.

“They came up to us. We would not have gone up to them because we didn't know who they are. So when a friendly face comes up to you and says can we help you, that's fantastic.”

The Bblue Suede Brigade has twelve full time staff and is funded through the downtown commission, meaning taxpayer dollars are not funding them.

They operate twelve hours a day and can communicate with Memphis Police Department when needed.

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