New crime prevention plan in the works

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- An overall crime problem. The city of Memphis' homicide rate for this year stands at a staggering 178.

Each one of those killings means the loss of a son, daughter, sister, brother or parent.

Just this week, we've seen seven murders within five days, and on top of that more shootings and robberies.

Mayor Jim Strickland said police are increasing patrols in the neighborhoods where the murders happened and other troubled areas.'

Strickland campaigned on public safety only to see violent crime increase this year.

"As we talked about all year, our homicide rate is at a shameful pace," said Strickland. "One homicide is too many."

Since taking office, Strickland said the problem is most violent crime is either domestic or gang related, which makes it hard for police to predict.

"It makes me more dedicated to trying to solve this problem. We have taken immediate action. More police officers, recruiting more police officers, programming for young people," said Strickland.

MPD said it zeroed in on areas that need attention and asked officers to go there when not answering calls.

It's also asked the multi-agency gang unit to go to homicide crime scenes.

The city is also working to recruit more officers since the department is short-staffed.

"We have close to 1,600 people who have applied to be a police officer. Normally we have 500, so that's a good sign," said Strickland.

The mayor said he's also helping with a new crime prevention plan and is working with the police director, the sheriff's office, the DA and Memphis Shelby Crime Commission President Bill Gibbons.

The plan is set to be unveiled within the next month.

"I do think you'll see some common themes in this plan. Number one is the need to increase citizen involvement," said Gibbons. "Also, you're going to see a major emphasis on violent street crime."

Police report out of the 178 murders this year, 88 victims knew their killer.

"We as a community need to take more action instead of ringing our hands above the situation," said Strickland. "I'm concerned about our crime situation. We should not accept it. I think people need to b concerned, but also as a community we should stand up."

Strickland is asking you to do two things. First speak up and let officers know any information, so they can solve the crimes.

Second, show restraint over violence.