MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - As we celebrate 2019, Memphis leaders said they’re optimistic about what the coming year will mean when it comes to fighting crime.
Even though it’s a new year, Memphis city leaders find themselves dealing with the same old problems.
However, keeping Memphians safe is a responsibility that never goes away. No one may understand that better than police director Mike Rallings.
“So we’re doing OK, but we again have a long way to go,” Rallings said.
Rallings said violent crime in Memphis is down. Statistics from the city show the rate at which violent crime fell exceeded the goal city leaders set at the beginning of 2018.
“So to be down a little over six percent is great,” Rallings said. “We still got a lot of work to do.”
The city did not meet its goal of reducing property crime by two percent.
Property crime went up more than four percent in 2018, but there are reasons to be optimistic.
Ninety-five percent of 911 calls are being answered within 20 seconds, and the city’s on track to meet its goal of providing more community outreach programs.
Mayor Jim Strickland said we can also expect more officers on the streets.
"2018 will be the second year in a row where we’ve hired more police officers in the year than had left, and that’s for the first time in about seven years,” Strickland said. “So we’re really reversing that loss of police officers.”
Keeping Memphians safe is a resolution city officials must make every new year.