MPD hosts back-to-school event

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s the last weekend of summer vacation for thousands of students across the Mid-South.

Students in the Memphis-Shelby County School District will head back to class on Monday.

Many community organizations, including the Memphis Police Department, are pitching in to make sure kids have the supplies they need to have a great year.

The department hosted a back-to-school backpack giveaway Saturday morning.

With inflation rates the highest they’ve been in four decades, Brian Maness, a dad of a preschooler, said he’s noticed the high prices while shopping for school supplies for his daughter.

“The cost of the supplies goes up and up and the teachers get less and less, so anything the community can do that can help is always helpful,” he said.

Each of these 400 backpacks that were handed out at the event was stuffed full of school supplies for students.

“Everything is going up. The economy is just hard to manage right now, especially for families that have children. So, this is a way for us to support those efforts,” Memphis police chief CJ Davis said.

But the annual event is about more than just helping families with school supplies.

Chief Davis said it’s also about interacting with youth in the community.

“We want our young people to know we are here to support them,” she said. “We are here to help be proactive and keep them out of trouble, but at the same time keep them from being victimized as well.”

Families met with MPD’s K-9 unit along with the department’s other specialized units.

They also chose from several food vendors, played games, and even had a chance to take a ride on a mechanical bull.

Parents like Maness said it’s events like these that bring the community together.

“It gets the kids playing together and there is a lot of community support,” he said. “We do everything we can to join that.”