MEMPHIS, Texas — Rapper Young Dolph is the latest victim of gun violence in the city of Memphis and neighbors want action before more people die.
Thursday evening at Riverside Missionary Baptist Church in South Memphis, community members voiced concerns and possible solutions to the Shelby County District Attorney, the Shelby County Sheriff, and the Memphis Police Chief among others.
"I’m tired of kids getting killed and we aren’t doing anything about it," community member Mary Trice said. "These kids' lives are important."
Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner said this isn't a problem law enforcement can solve on its own. He said better relations need to be built so the community can comfortably speak to law enforcement when they see something.
"It was a great crowd here tonight, but it should have been packed because we’ve got to talk our way through to solutions," Bonner said. "We can't arrest our way out of this and we can’t put everyone in jail. That’s not the answer."
Several neighbors said having a larger law enforcement presence in their community will stop the criminals in their tracks.
"When the police get to us we’re already deceased," Trice said.
Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said MPD plans to better utilize officers in neighborhoods that deal with more crime. She also wants the department to help inform the community on gun safety and help kids stay out of the justice system.
"We don’t want to just hire officers so we can just respond to calls for service," Davis said. "We want to hire officers and more officers so we can be more preventative and proactive and provide education and awareness to our community members on a number of different topics."
MPD's goal is also to hire 300 more officers within the next two years to better serve communities wanting more officers. It's also looking to utilize reserve officers to add a soft presence in neighborhoods to help prevent crime.
"Those officers that are retired to be involved in community engagement, to be visible around our businesses," Davis said.