Safeways Mission

Safeways collaborates with law enforcement, property managers, and social service providers to promote improved community safety and quality of life in Memphis apartment communities.

Our work is done through research, data analysis, environmental and place-management interventions, education and training, community-building and relationship-building.

Safeways Certified Properties receive crime suppression support, advocacy, and technical assistance to promote crime prevention and resident safety.

Program History:

Research and data gave birth to Safeways


Read a letter from our Founders, Dr. Phyllis Betts and Dr. Richard Janikowski.

Read Letter from Founders

The beginnings of Safeways go back to the middle of the 1990s when analysis by University of Memphis researchers’ analysis of Shelby County and U.S. Department of Justice data revealed a “reclustering” of poverty and crime incidence in Memphis apartment communities.

“We conceptualized a linkage of law enforcement and community building/social services to stabilize and enhance apartment communities through the reduction of crime and introduction of broader crime prevention and quality of life interventions,” explains Richard Janikowski, director of the Center for Community Crimonology and Research. “That was when things began to come together,” agrees Phyllis Betts, director of the Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action (CBANA).

A model was hammered together and initial results at Autumn Ridge and Kensington Manor apartment properties were promising. The approach built on hot-spot and problem-oriented policing practices, and then went further by linking longer-term community building and resident support services.

Support services in apartment communities are rare, except where the elderly and disabled are concerned. Federal HUD and HHS leaders, however, were prompted by the momentum in Memphis to consider how more linkages could be made in properties subsidized through Section 8 or the low-income tax credit. A study to make that happen, which was introduced in Memphis as a “pilot city” has been completed by The Urban Child Institute.

After a few years of collecting data and testing the model, a “scaling up” was begun to get private sector buy-in and participation. This partnership began with apartment managers/owners LEDIC, Alco and Makowsky, Ringel, Greenberg (MRG).

As from the beginning, data continues to be the driving force behind Safeways.

Board of Directors

Dave Carlson,
Board Chair, Smith & Nephew

Blair Taylor,
Board Vice-Chair Memphis Tomorrow

John Dudas,
Secretary/Treasurer, Belz Enterprises

Michael Rallings,
Memphis Police Director

Amy Weirich,
Shelby County District Attorney General

Olliette Murry-Drobot,
Executive Director, Memphis Family Safety Center

Amy Schaftlein,
Executive Director, United Housing, Inc.

Ralph Perrey,
Tennessee Housing Development Agency

David Slott,
American Residential Services

Pierce Ledbetter,
LEDIC Management Group

James Ringel,
Makowsky Ringel Greenberg, LLC

Robert Hyde,
ALCO Management

Barbara Deans, General Counsel, Memphis Housing Authority