Tracking crime in Memphis: Shelby County Health Department weighs in

Tracking crime in Memphis: Shelby County Health Department weighs in

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis reached a grim milestone this week, breaking a record for the number of homicides to occur in one year.

Violence occurs in every part of the city, but some areas see more than others.

The Shelby County Health Department weighed in. According to crime statistics from the Memphis Data Hub, zip code 38106 has seen the most homicides this year -- 28 as of Wednesday.

Data shows that most homicides in that zip code have occurred south of McLemore and north of Kerr.

Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings says guns, gangs, drugs and domestic violence are leading to more homicides.

But experts say other factors are at play as well.

“One of the things that public health can do is elevate violence as a public health issue,” said Shelby County Health Department Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter.

Haushalter says violence has historically not been seen as a public health issue.

But she says research shows violence is related to underlying causes.

“That’s everything from poverty to systemic and historic racism over to lack of educational attainment and lack of job attainment,” said Haushalter. “So if we address those root causes we ultimately impact violence.”

The unemployment rate in the 38106 zip code was 22 percent before the pandemic, according to city-data.com.

Seventy-eight percent of the 25,000 people who live in the zip code are high school graduates, which is about 10 percent below the national average.

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