MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Memphis chapter are calling on residents to come together to decrease crime across the Bluff City.
The group gathered Tuesday night, saying recent road rage incidents and violent crimes compelled them to put out this call to action.
The Memphis Police Department reports the number of homicides from 2017 to 2018 were up slightly.
The SCLC says despite that number, they applaud the department's hard work.
They also say the community could do more.
“SCLC and concerned pastors and ministers suggest that we canvas our neighborhoods to help alleviate crime in our city by showing acts of kindness,” said SCLC President Reverend Walter Womack.
Despite the slight uptick in homicides reported by MPD, the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission reports major violent crime is generally down for 2018.
Last year’s complete crime stats are expected to be released next week by the TBI.
The executive director of the Public Safety Institute at the University of Memphis responded to the SCLC's call to action for citizens to help curb Memphis crime.
Bill Gibbons said although major violent crime is down, Memphis is still not where it needs to be.
Gibbons said there is a lot of work to do.
“I think it’s safe to say that a lot of things that are going on right now by the Memphis Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, DA’s Office, US Attorney’s Office, as well as many other entities in the community all of those taken together is having a positive impact,” Gibbons said.
He attributes the decrease in crime to more focus on data collection, the increase in police officers on the streets, the deterrent program with DA Office, and the USGA and DA office cracking down on gun crimes.