MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As crime numbers continue to climb Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland hopes he can get the funding for a new program he feels will really make a change.
As of Wednesday, there have been 76 homicides and 63 murders in the City of Memphis in 2021, six of which involve minors.
At this rate anti-violence advocates and local leaders worry about having another violent year.
“Things need to happen and a lot of people and organizations have to change. Let’s use that example of the 4-year-old this weekend,” said Strickland.
The suspect in the case Mayor Jim Strickland is referring to is 40-year-old Terrell Woods, Woods is in custody.
Strickland says learning about the case was heartbreaking and it’s why he has asked the Memphis City Council for funding for a new program called Memphis Group Violence Intervention Program.
“Our new group, violence interruption program, which we are asking for funding from the council right now is based on best practices, and what it does is individual one on one work with those who are in gangs or thinking about joining gangs,” said Strickland.
Strickland continued to say the program will have counselors help individuals find housing, work and manage their finances.
He also says Youth Villages is getting on board and plans to offer something similar for minors.
“So if we can really intervene in the life of those people from 14-24 and give them an alternative, and give them an alternative, counsel with a one on one, intervene with them, and work with them we can change the scope of it,” said Strickland.
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris did not want to comment on the issue when we asked.
Shelby County Commissioner Eddie Jones says when the county receives additional funds the commission will look into dispersing funds to help fight Memphis’ crime issue.