MEMPHIS, Tenn. - FedEx Logistics Chairman Richard Smith issued a statement that said he paused moving his operation to the vacant Gibson factory after the murder of Phil Trenary in September 2018.
This is the first time a corporate leader in Memphis went on the record to say crime is not only hurting lives – it is also impacting commerce.
Memphis police told FOX13 they offered the same assurances given to every citizen – that they will fight and reduce crime.
Residents and visitors in Memphis told FOX13 they feel fairly safe when walking downtown.
However, crime and safety became an issue when Trenary was murdered near the South Main Arts District.
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The killing shocked the business community to the point that Smith hit the pause button to move part of his operation to the vacant Gibson building.
“We were in negotiations, obviously we had the tragic shooting of Phil Trenary, so we took a step back to get comfortable with the public safety aspect in downtown,” Smith said.
Smith met with Mayor Jim Strickland and Police Director Mike Rallings. After that meeting, Smith said he felt more comfortable and resumed relocation talks.
Police sources told FOX13 they have been told MPD plans to maintain manpower at its two closest locations to Gibson, which is the North Main Station and Entertainment District Substation.
At risk was losing a deal that will bring more than 300 well-paid jobs to the area.
Downtown Memphis is one of the safest zip codes in the city, according to crime tracking data.
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