A team of teens: MPD officer bonds with the younger generation through sport

Get to know MPD Sgt. Jerry Knowlton and his call to memphis, passion for sports and love for the track team at Soulsville Charter School.

Let me take you back to my very first encounter with Sgt. Jerry Knowlton. My supervisor and I were in Soulsville, U.S.A. for a shoot during the early afternoon when a patrol car turned onto our block as we were unpacking pounds of recording gear onto the sidewalk. We exchanged pleasantries, talked about our shoot and we heard a bit about him and his connection to the community.

Check out the Bluff City Vibes piece we filmed that day.

After that 5 – 7 minute conversation, I was left in a state of awe. In one 24-hour day, Knowlton balances work, life and love for the teens at Soulsville Charter School.

Courtesy: Sgt. Jerry Knowlton

Knowlton works for the Memphis Police Department on the Special Traffic Investigations Squad examining fatal car crashes as early as 6 a.m. After a workday of tragedies and delivering despairing news to families, he exchanges his honorable navy blue MPD uniform for one that’s royal purple and silver to coach Soulsville Charter School’s track team.

Courtesy: Sgt. Jerry Knowlton

Knowlton doesn’t just pop by and assign drills, he’s built and trained that team from the ground up. Talk to him. He’s quick to brag on his runners, sharing their stats and photos from meets in the Bluff City and regional competitions. You’ll hear first hand how he cares for them, going beyond if they can run well, he’s invested in their lives.


Courtesy: Sgt. Jerry Knowlton

About Soulsville Charter School:

The Soulsville Charter School is a public charter school located in Memphis, Tennessee. Serving over 600 students grades 6 through 12 daily, a U.S. News and World Report nationally ranked high school and 2015 SCORE prize winner for leading student learning in Tennessee. 100% of the graduating seniors to date have been accepted to 2 and 4 year colleges. All students receive support along their post-secondary pathway from an alumni counselor.

Click here to for more reasons to get involved with Soulsville Charter School.