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City of Memphis to change way it reports homicides

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The city of Memphis will soon be calculating the number of homicides each year a little differently.

WREG spoke with Police Director Mike Rallings on Friday. He said under the current guidelines, the department records murders, justifiable homicides, homicides from the previous year, negligent manslaughters and the deaths of unborn babies all in the same list.

It’s a system that doesn’t align with the TBI’s standards, and one Director Rallings said needs to go.

“Didn’t do it this year, because some people will say ‘Director, you’re trying to cut the books.’ No I’m not. I’m trying to make sense out of a very complicated thing we should have corrected a long time ago,” said Rallings.

The TIBRS, or Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System, is reportedly less confusing and will get rid of any data reporting that is problematic.

For example, in 2016 the city officially recorded 228 murders.

However, TIBRS would have only recognized 195 of those, because the city added 2 negligent manslaughters, 19 justifiable homicides, 8 previous year homicides and 4 unborn babies in its total.

The new system will be launched in 2018.