New stats show murder rate down, violent crime up
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - New crime numbers for the city of Memphis are out, and there is both good and bad news.
Records show murder is down, but violent crime is on the rise.
However, one Memphis family said these numbers aren't telling the real story.
Judy Pollard is so angry. She's upset her son was shot and killed Tuesday by three men in their South Memphis neighborhood.
"I miss him a lot because he was good, he was kindhearted and he loved children," Pollard said.
She too was shot, and she's calling her son her hero.
"He gave his life for his mama, because they were trying to kill me," Pollard said.
The city of Memphis has seen a 12.2 percent decrease in murders from the first six months of this year, compared to the same time last year.
Yet, the city's major violent crime rate is up by 9.9 percent citywide and 9.3 percent countywide. There is also a 10.6 percent rise in major property crime.
As this mom grieves and makes sense of hurt, she's begging the city to do more to address crime.
"They need to come out here and see it for themselves," Pollard said. "Come out here."
Director Mike Rallings said reducing crime is a top priority.
Mayor Jim Strickland said he's lobbying for stiffer sentences for violent crime, working to add more jobs, offering more for the youth and supporting legislation to help lower level-level offender find jobs.
Strickland also said that MPD currently has the lowest number of officers in a decade.
Meanwhile, this mother works to plan her son's funeral and make sense of tragedy.
"I'm tired of this, I'm tired of all of this mess," Pollard said.
Pollard said her son's funeral will likely be next Saturday. She's also pushing for more officers on the streets.
Friday afternoon, MPD released the following statement on the new statistics:
From Director Rallings:
We are aware of the statistics released today from the Memphis/Shelby County Crime Commission. The numbers upset me, and they should our citizens. The number of aggravated assaults, theft of motor vehicles, and basically overall crime is unacceptable. As I have stated from day one, MPD cannot do this alone.
Our officers are working day in and day out, responding to calls, makings arrests, investigating cases, and interacting with the community through community policing.
We will continue to work hard to combat the crime in Memphis, we will not stop. We will not shy away from this challenge, but we also need help from our citizens.
Year-to-date, we have received 3274 aggravated assaults. Of those aggravated assaults, 33% (1070) are related to domestic violence.
2174 are non-aggravated domestic violence incidents. Of the 2174, the victim and offender knew each other 55% of the time.
Thefts of motor vehicles are on a rise which affects our total crime rate. Time and time again, we are seeing individuals leave their vehicles unattended with the keys inside. We need citizens to be more responsible. Do not leave your vehicle unlocked with the keys inside.
A few things that our citizens should be aware of are as follows:
1) Rebuilding our staffing levels has been paramount. Next month, we will graduate the largest class in seven years from our training academy. This means more boots on the ground. Within 3 weeks of the graduation, we will begin another recruit class. Our goal is 100 recruits, after training, they will be additional officers hitting the street. Our recruiting efforts will not falter. We will continue to hire and increase our manpower until we have reached a satisfactory staffing level.
2) Implementation of our Violent Crimes Unit. This unit is comprised of several investigators who are experienced with investigating violent crimes. These investigators work side by side with members of both our state and federal partners, our Organized Crime Unit, Project Safe Neighborhood and the Multi Agency Gang Unit. Their work has proven to be instrumental in solving many violent crime cases.
The combined efforts of our dedicated officers and the vigilant citizens of this City will in the end, result in reducing crime, and making our City, safe for all.
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