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"It's a challenge" MPD's Chief Cerelyn 'CJ' Davis weighs in, how to prevent violent crime

According to Memphis Police data, the number of shootings in Memphis is already higher than this time last year.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Even in a city used to violent crime, the fact crime rates are still climbing here is a big source of frustration. People want something done about it.

The Greater Memphis Chamber and the Crime Commission held a public meeting to discuss strategies with leaders, including new Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn 'CJ' Davis.

RELATED: New Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn 'CJ' Davis sworn in, gets to work on first day and new era for department


“It's a challenge for the police department,” said Chief Davis. “It's a challenge for the community members as well.”

For many people in this room, crime is not a new worry. The problem is, it's getting worse.

RELATED: Another Unity Walk & community forums take aim at gun violence in Memphis


At Wednesday’s public forum, person after person told leaders ‘enough is enough.’

"We've got this rise in violent crime,” said District Attorney Amy Weirich. “We've got the rise in aggravated assault and homicides."

According to Memphis Police data shared at the meeting, the number of shootings in Memphis is already higher than this time last year. Also so far in 2021, more than 131 kids the have been treated for shooting related injuries.

RELATED: Healthcare workers aiming to help community heal amid rising gun violence in Memphis


"Right now, our priorities are reducing violent crime, gun violence,” said Chief Davis. “Not just from a responsive standpoint but from a preventive standpoint."

It's been nearly six months since Chief Davis' first day as top cop. After the meeting, ABC24 asked her to weigh-in on what programs and strategies are actually working.

“We have implemented a Downtown traffic plan,” said Davis. “We've already started to see a difference in a reduction in the amount of car racing in the Downtown area and in reckless driving. That traffic plan is starting to work."

Chief Davis also shared new details on a new auto theft task force to target stolen cars.

“A lot of those stolen vehicles are being used to commit crimes, serious crimes,” said Davis. “Once we stop these cars, we're finding guns, drugs and all kinds of other you know, paraphernalia."

Leaders say it’s going to take all of us to make a difference.

“The police department is not going to fix it. It takes everybody every citizen,” said Weirich. “That's why these kinds of events are so important to get the community out, let them hear the message."

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