Specialized unit tackles homicides, violent crimes in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Murders in Memphis are the number one priority a new task force plans to solve. Specific Memphis Police Department investigators are called into the group to not only solve homicides, but also a series of violent crimes.

The new MPD unit could be the answer mourning families have been waiting for in the Bluff City.

"It just hurt me so bad, real bad, and they just stabbed her like that and took her life away and now she gone," Lisa Stringfellow said.

Stringfellow's loved one is one of the 27 murder victims in Memphis in 2017. MPD's new Violent Crimes Unit will be used to solve these types of crimes.

Last year 228 homicides happened in the city. That's a number MPD doesn't want to see again.

"Coming off a year like we had last year, of course you have to do something different to try to get that number down," MPD Major Darren Goods, Violent Crimes Unit, said. "So, that's where the Violent Crimes idea was born out of."

Goods said the group is made of officers from various parts of investigative services, special operations, and the organized crime unit.

He said the team's focus is primarily on any unsolved homicides, as well as any new murders that come along. But they also do much more.

"They also lend resources to any patterned crime or violence and what I mean by that, if we have a series of drive way robberies or a series of business robberies, aggravated assaults, or a series of sexual predators where there is an identifiable pattern," Goods said.

The more investigators focus on a specific crime, the higher the solve rate is.

"If you have more intelligence, if you have more resources that are laser focused on crime in general, than you know your solve rate should be increased," Goods said.

No uniformed patrol officers are used in the unit. So, they still have the same amount of boots on the ground.

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