Is Shelby County’s crime plan on track? WREG finds out

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A woman was carjacked while driving down the road.

Another woman was targeted while her daughter recovered from a liver transplant, and a man was forced out of his car at gunpoint while at the ATM.

According to MPD's crime tracker, since Friday, there have been 10 carjackings reported.

"We collect data on all the offenses and all the children that come through. We analyze that data on a regular basis," said Juvenile Judge Dan Michael.

Some of the suspects arrested are just teenagers, including two 16-year-old's and 18-year-old Andre Williams, who allegedly carjacked a woman at the FedExFamilyHouse on Friday while her daughter recovered from a liver transplant.

Police tell us Williams also carjacked at least two other people around the same time.

"Carjackings are up," said Michael. "The anecdotal data is that it's gang related. Carjackings are up 128 percent, which is frightening,"

Despite the recent violence, Michael said we are on track to meet goals set by the crime commission, like reducing the number of juveniles committing delinquent acts by at least 30 percent in 2021.

He credits programs like the summons review team that launched in May.

"Every single child that gets a summons in Shelby County today would have to appear at a SRT meeting with their parents," he said. "They then give them tools they can use to help change their behavior, and a sheet of services for the parents."

He said it's working.

"In the past 2 months in the 260 to 270 kids that have gone through it, our recidivism rate is 2 percent. That's tiny," said Michael.

He said he also launched a similar initiative called Cease Fire for kids charged with gun crimes.

"If a child is brought in on a gun charge, meaning he was in possession of a weapon and he hasn’t used it, he just has it. He will be released on detention on the promise that he and his parents come to the Cease Fire class," he said. "Our recidivism rates for Cease Fire are around 13 to 14 percent. It's still very, very low. So that works."

There's other things in the works too.

Michael put a juvenile prosecutor in the Old Allen precinct to work with the District Attorney's new precinct based prosecution. Basically, the same prosecutors and judges handle the crimes in that precinct.

"It's been running two years. Murders in Frayser are down 41 percent in the last two years. Burglaries are way down," he said.

Michael said they just got the budget passed for an Evening Reporting Center too.

This will be a place children on probation go after school.

"They literally will go to a school and pick them up and bring them to a facility. They're fed a snack, get help with their homework, exercise and are fed dinner. They get mentored by people at the Evening Reporting Center, and then put on a van and directly taken home and given to their parent at 9 in the evening," he said.

Michael hopes they determine a school to hold the ERC sometime this fall.

"We are not yet where we need to be, but we are encouraged by the crime stats so far," said Memphis-Shelby County Crime Commissioner Bill Gibbons.

Crime Commissioner Bill Gibbons said overall violent crime is down, and they're making strides in the plan- like retaining police officers.

"We are finally stabilizing the number of officers and seeing a slight increase," he said. "We are not where we need to be. We have along way to go to make this community as safe as it needs to be."

In the meantime, Memphis Police have asked people to be on high alert and pay attention. They suggest staying off your phone while you get in and out of your car, and if you see something suspicious, let them know.

WREG looked up the past records for some of the suspects arrested.

Tyun Turnage is behind bars after he and two buddies allegedly hit a woman's car Sunday afternoon on Howard and then carjacked her at gunpoint when she go out to check the damage.

It turns out, the 19-year-old was out on bond for an aggravated assault and two robberies that included holding a mother and her two young children at gunpoint.

Two days before that, two 16-year-olds and 18-year-old Andre Williams allegedly carjacked a woman at the FedExFamilyHouse friday while her daughter recovered from a liver transplant.

Police told us Williams also carjacked at least two other people around that same time.

Gibbons said overall crime committed by children is going down.

"The concern is violent crime by youthful offenders is going up," he said.

A copy of the crime statistics for Shelby County so far in 2018 can be found here.

A copy of the entire plan: https://memphiscrime.org/osc-2017-2021/