Memphis City Council discusses resolutions to violent crime

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 5:14 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - After a week of violence in Bluff City, one of the main items on the agenda at Tuesday morning’s Memphis City Council committee meetings was public safety.

Two items on the agenda were in direct response to the multiple violent incidents of last week in Memphis.

The first item was a temporary curfew.

That discussion was pushed back for two weeks because of issues on personnel and effective enforcement.

“People want to work in and be employed and spend their dollars here,” said Councilman Chase Carlisle. “We have a massive tourism industry... if we lose those things that we hold so dear to drive our economy, we are going to be in deep trouble.”

Carlisle amended the second item of note on the public safety agenda, which requests more officers from the state and county to help with patrols.

Carlisle’s amendment? No less than 50 officers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol for a period of no less than six weeks.

“I think in the very near-term, a law enforcement presence on the street that can show and make people feel safe... is a very needy step,” he said. “I think that would be very helpful.”

According to Chief C.J. Davis, MPD has 1,932 officers with another 96 halfway through the academy.

It’s still several hundred short of the 2,500 goal, but Davis said in Tuesday’s committee meeting that the burden of Memphis’s safety falls on MPD and that they’re quote “not there yet,” with regard to asking for outside help.

“I think that’s a great statement from the chief of police, to want to take responsibility and accountability for public safety, but in the reality of it... when you look at short-term and long-term goals, addressing violent crime and poverty in the city of Memphis... we need partnership and support,” Carlisle said.

Carlisle said he feels that if pushed through full council, this conversation is one the state should hear to help rein in violent crime.

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