WMC Action News 5 recently did a report that the Mid-South Jewelry and Accessories Fair plans to move out of the Cook Convention Center after many years there. The fair, featuring many items not normally found at Memphis-area stores, will relocate to the Landers Center in Southaven.
Several reasons why were given. For one thing, construction is planned for the Cook Convention Center the next few years, and dust and equipment could inconvenience the fair’s attendees. Secondly, improvements have been made to the Landers Center recently, not surprising since Landers is no doubt flush with cash thanks to its new tenant the Memphis Hustle. I’m fairly sure the Landers Center’s marketing team has been coming a-calling to a lot of conventions held at the Cook, knowing the Cook’s plans for renovations. A third reason is the perception of crime in the area around the Cook.
However, Action News 5 made only one of those reasons the headline for its story.
To me, that looks like a sweeps month ratings grab for WMC’s TV audience and clickbait for its online audience. Three reasons were given, but only one was put in the spotlight – the one that makes my neighborhood look bad.
Folks, I have lived down here since February 2002. In all my years being a Downtowner, I have NEVER been the victim of a crime. I probably walk around Downtown about as much as any resident in the area, and I have never had a problem. Statistically the 38103 zip code is among the safest in the city.
We have a Downtown safety patrol that works the area from Front to BB King, from Exchange to GE Patterson, operating on bikes and Segways. You can call them at 901-281-9146 and report any suspicious activity you see. I have called them before and they are responsive and courteous.
If there was a crime problem Downtown, you would be reading about it here. I answer to no one but myself for this blog’s content and am not afraid to go negative when I feel it’s justified. However, I also love my Downtown neighborhood and want people to come down here and experience all that it has to offer. When someone paints an unfair picture of my neighborhood, I will defend it. And I feel an unfair picture was painted by that headline.
WMC, the community puts a lot of trust in you. You’re better than this.