MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Leaders across the city are chiming in on the grim homicide record set this weekend.
District Attorney Amy Weirich and Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings offered their condolences Monday to the families of the more than 300 homicide victims.
The high crime rate is affecting every part of the city.
“When I came in from work last night I saw police cars all around,” said Nadine Saunders who lives in the 300 block of North Bellevue.
Sunday night there was a familiar scene in Memphis of yellow crime scene tape and police cars in her neighborhood.
“It really touched me to know it was a child and she hasn’t lived any life yet. It’s sad,” said Saunders.
Violent crime in Memphis has reached an all-time high.
There have been over 300 homicides so far this year and it’s leaving communities broken and searching for relief.
“Murder is one of the hardest crimes to legislate because we already have the toughest penalties in place, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do more,” said Memphis City Council Member Worth Morgan.
Morgan thinks part of the answer to lowering crime lies in hiring more police officers. He says more police officers could increase arrests and possibly serve as a deterrent to lower crime and keep dangerous criminals off the street.
Morgan says next week the full council will vote to accept the Public Safety Task Force recommendations for recruiting, training and hiring police officers. Part of the recommendation includes setting the benchmark for the number of police officers within MPD at 2,500, currently the city has around 2,100 officers.
“When it comes time to fund those positions and make sure we have enough resources to recruit that many officers and make sure they’re well-trained, will the city council and the mayor’s office be willing to step up and fulfill that commitment or will it be business as usual,” asked Morgan.
The council has differed in the past on how to spend money for public safety.
Some argue that instead of hiring more police officers, the city should put more funds and resources into things like education and economic development.
In the meantime, Memphis police implemented Operation Cool Down, an effort to lower violent crime in the city.
In the past three weeks, there have been 197 arrests, 17 vehicles and 52 firearms recovered.
However, it’s not enough to stop all the acts of violence that appear to be plaguing this city in 2020.
If you have any tips that can help solve a case you’re asked to call Crimestoppers at (901) 528-CASH.