City leaders, community working together to stop crime - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City leaders, community working together to stop crime

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Law enforcement, non-profit organizations and citizens are joining together to fight crime in Memphis.

Planners said the goal is to let the voices and ideas of Memphians be heard and put into action.

"I'm tired of the level of violent crime,” Mayor Jim Strickland said. “They're tired of the level of violent crime and we have to do something about it."

Strickland said that is where Operation Safe Community comes in at LeMoyne-Owen College.

"We're having a community wide town hall to address solutions to the challenges we are facing,” organizer Harold Collins said.

Collins said about 150 people joined him Saturday to listen to public forums and break into smaller groups in classrooms to discuss issues like gang activity and juvenile crime.

A combination of experts, law enforcement, non-profits and citizens worked together to save Memphis.

"The way to do that is get information from the citizens that are directly impacted by crime,” Collins said.

Even though the event took place on a college campus, the event was not a lecture. People said they were talking with them and not at them, and that difference can make a change in the city.

"We'll be looking upstream at what some of the factors are in these kids’ lives that result in them moving on towards crime,” Memphian Dr. Altha Stewart said.

Stewart said to stop crime, more residents have to step up.

"We all talk about it takes a village. We've now got to commit to being part of that village.”

Collins agrees with the sentiment.

"We'll figure out what we need to do to hear them, because this is just the beginning,” he said.

The forum wasn’t all talk, either. After the discussion, officials said they are meeting with Memphis police to expand the youth crime watch in schools.

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