Memphis Police Association President Says Record Homicide Rate Will Only Increase

Unless City Takes Drastic Action

Memphis - Memphis continues its disturbing wave of homicides, hitting 151 homicides Monday. There have been five killings since Friday. Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams says the rate will grow unless something drastic happens.
"When you have 151 homicides, that affects everybody ,that affects the officers in that we're trying to keep that, we're trying to maintain," says Mike Williams, Memphis Police Association president.
The alarming jump in homicides is something Memphis better get used to says Williams, especially with fewer officers on the streets.
"We're down approximately 500 to be perfectly honest now. And I will tell you, just in the last couple weeks, we've lost several to the Secret Service, we lost several to the FBI," he said.
Memphis finished with 161 homicides in 2015, a slight dip from the total of 168 in 2014. The bluff city is only 10 killings away from last year, and we still have a quarter of the year left.
"I will tell you most of them probably occurred in the inner-city. Most of them are probably people who knew people, individuals who were acquaintances. A lot of it was family related," he said.
In addition to the decline in officers, there are other troubling signs of worsening conditions for people in Memphis, said Williams.
"We are at a point to where it is now, you have gangs that are coming out protesting, because they're asking for youth initiatives in the community. That's what we have," Williams said.
Williams says he likes what he is hearing from Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings, but he says drastic measures are needed from the mayor and City Council to make police and poverty immediate priorities.
The Bluff City is on pace to finish with more than 225 homicides this year, which would exceed the record of 213 in 1993.

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