Memphis council considers anti-violent crime task force

City council pushing for new anti-violent crime task force in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis City Council members are considering another task force aimed at reducing violent crime in the Bluff City.

But the city leader pushing for this new task force says it’s not like other task forces.

Memphis City Councilman Dr. Jeff Warren believes he may have found the prescription Memphis needs to reduce violent crime.

Warren wants the city to create an anti-violent crime task force.

“What we’ve done isn’t working as well as we would like,” said Warren. “We already have parts of this puzzle working separately out there.”

Warren says his task force would bring those groups together so they could zero in on those most-likely to commit crimes and redirect their behavior into something positive.

“It’s more of an interventional program [than] a program that just goes and just catches people and puts them in jail,” said Warren.

Warren’s task force plan, which he himself calls “complicated,” is inspired by the 2019 book, “Bleeding Out,” which was written by a crime researcher and former Obama administration official.

But some city council members appeared skeptical and questioned if another task force was needed.

“Essentially all the organizations named in that last paragraph [of the resolution] are already on the crime commission as well,” said Councilman Worth Morgan. “How does it differ from the mission and the responsibilities of the Memphis-Shelby County Crime Commission?”

“I think the difference is what this is really designed to do is to make sure that we have a program that is bringing more community involvement into the picture,” Warren answered.

Warren says the mayor and members of the task force would be in charge of filling in the rest of the details once the task force has been formed.

Warren says the task force could cost $1-2 million and take up to a year to get up and running.

The city council is expected to vote on the resolution Tuesday night.

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.