MPD increasing Spring Break patrols with violent crime numbers rising

MPD increasing Spring Break patrols with violent crime numbers rising

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - While many school districts in the Mid-South are closed this week for spring break, Memphis police are stepping up patrols to make sure everyone is safe in the city.

Memphis Police Department confirmed they increased patrols at malls, shopping centers and other places where young people frequent.

This comes after recent incidents at parks, malls, and shopping centers involving Memphis children.

According to Operation: Safe Community, violent crime--including murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery--is up 24.5 percent across Shelby County and 22.5 percent in Memphis, as compared to 2015.

"I just be careful," Tarquisha Suggs said. "You have to watch your back everywhere you go."

Suggs is a mother of three. She said crime in the city is out of control.

"I'm to the point where I want to pick up my kids and leave Memphis. That's how bad it's gotten to me," Suggs said.

In addition, murder rates have increased 47.1 percent in Shelby County from 2015 to 2016. This kind of violence is something that is too close to home for Suggs and her children.

"The other day I was sitting at home and there were gunshots on the side of my house while me and my kids just lying in bed," Suggs said.

Mayor Strickland was not available for an interview, but his office released a statement on the crime issues.

"The mayor's office is not blind to what's happening here and they're actively working to reduce crime with programs like blue crush. They're also working to recruit and retain more officers, adding more jobs, trying to add more sky cop cameras, and working with the gang task force."

Many are hoping the added attention to patrolling areas will keep them safe.

"You feel safe if you see some type of authority coming around, too much won't pop off then," Suggs said.

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