Major crime increased last year in Memphis, say data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. In 2016, the city recorded 228 homicides, a 42 percent increase from 2015’s 161 killings. Those 228 killings also set a record for most homicides in one year, eclipsing the 1993 tally of 213, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The violent crime rate increased 3.2 percent. “I don’t find it comforting, but I think we have to remember that we’re not the only major city dealing with this crisis … said Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich. “…it is disheartening to look at much of that progress (we’ve made in recent years) eroding last year.”
Said Bill Gibbons, head of the Crime Commission: “The big challenge is major violent crime. We are not keeping pace with the nation as a whole in reducing that.” The commission has embarked on an ambitious new crime-fighting plan that, if successful, would reduce violent and property crime by 30 percent within the next five years. Dubbed Operation: Safe Community 3, the plan begins this year and concludes in 2021. Organizers hope the plan will reduce violent crime by 30 percent; reduce property crime by 30 percent; and reduce overall crime by 25 percent.