MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton says the Memphis crime problem is based on one issue; there are too many guns on the streets of this city. He's got a five point plan which he says will make a big difference.
The police and others will focus on south Memphis, where critics say they don't think some ideas, like two officers riding in a single police car, will work.
Memphis is a place where at times it seems there are dozens of different cities. Downtown is filled with well-dressed office workers who walk the streets without fear. Just a few miles south, heading to a fast food restaurant for lunch is hindered by a group of police responding to some type of disturbance.
Memphis is a city of different personalities. All of them have one big problem, according to Mayor Wharton - too many guns.
The mayor says he's got a plan, which includes:
- Increasing police presence.
- Trying to help young kids stay out of trouble.
- Giving young folks more opportunities.
- Putting two officers in one car so police can be more aggressive.
Some in Whitehaven say the police are doing a pretty good job right now.
Jesse Cage has owned his barbershop in Whitehaven for two years. For him, the Wharton plan makes sense. "Well actually cops need to patrol a little bit more out there. Just show their presence in the community to let us know they're trying to protect taxpaying citizens."
While all this goes on, remember one thing: the Memphis Police Department is short by a little more than 200 police officers.
Critics of this plan say to put more cars on the streets with two officers, and there won't be as many cars on the streets. That means six one-man cars become three two-man cars.
Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams says the idea has some good points, and some bad points.
"I like them in regard to officer safety. I don't like them in regard that we're cutting down on the number of cars that you actually have to respond to calls."
More plans will come out later this year, according to the mayor and others.