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Highland Strip restaurants looking forward to increased MPD presence

Weeks after a massive police response to shots fired and a barricade situation on the Highland Strip, restaurant owners welcome increased police presence.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some businesses across Memphis are looking forward to the Memphis Police Department’s “Safe Summer Initiatives” heading into summer months.

Jerry Luellen of Smackers restaurant on Highland Street has multiple cameras inside of the restaurant, but said they aren’t able to place cameras on the outside, but that hasn’t been a problem.

“Fortunately, we have a Skycop [camera] directly in front of the restaurant and also adjacent to us on the side as well as in the back in the parking lot,” Luellen said. “We don’t per say have outdoor cameras but we are surrounded with Skycops.”

When it comes to MPD’s plans to increase the number of patrol officers outside of areas like restaurants, apartments and retail parking lots, Luellen said it’s a great idea. It’s also something he’s already seen take place.

“Being joined with the University of Memphis, you see the University of Memphis Police Department as well as MPD and state troopers so its visual and I think that in itself I don’t think it deters customers. And if it did, we probably wouldn’t want to deal with that type of customer base anyways.”

Smackers restaurant has not had any break ins in their short time open.

“I know on this particular strip, per say, you have a lot of retail spaces and a lot of the retail spaces have been vandalized multiple times and I’m assuming because of valuables and things of that nature,” Luellen said. "But no, we have yet, and I don’t even want to speak it into existence but no we haven’t had any issues with break-ins whatsoever.”

As the restaurant heads into their first summer open on the Highland Strip, they’re looking forward to the Memphis Police Departments initiatives to keep their business and customers safe, and hopeful the increase in police presence will decrease crime all across the city.

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