MEMPHIS, Tenn.– As we kick off the holiday shopping season, concerns of crime are on the mind of many Memphis shoppers. WREG spoke with Mayor Jim Strickland who says the city is working on several new methods to create a safer city.
Pam Palazola said this year she won’t be partaking in any Black Friday shopping due to ongoing crime.
“I’m scared to go to the grocery store. You know we don’t know what’s going to happen when,” Palazola said. “The leadership of Memphis needs to come together with the community and really try to figure out how we can decrease the crime. The last week has just been heart wrenching just absolutely heart wrenching.”
Wednesday night, Memphis Police got a shots fired call right outside the Wolfchase mall.
Thankfully, no one was hit according to police.
The shooting came less than a week after a father and his son were shot while sitting in the parking lot of the Oak Court Mall.
The child is expected to be ok but the man died. His family said he went to the mall to do some Christmas shopping.
Mayor Strickland said the city is doing everything it can to combat crime through new initiatives such as the Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods Unit, also known as SCORPION, which is a unit of forty officers that will operate in teams to directly address violent crimes.
Another initiative is the Group Violence Intervention Program which is a team that will work within schools, hospitals, and neighborhoods to stop crime from happening.
He said the city is also putting a lot of its resources toward local youth.
“We’re kicking off our Boys and Girls club initiative in 10 new high schools here soon because kids need something productive to do when they’re not in school,” Mayor Strickland said.
As for Palazola, she said she’s going to keep a watchful eye out this holiday season.
“Make sure you lock your doors and don’t be out late. Of course all this stuff has been happening in the daytime. So you can’t even say that,” she said.
If you plan on doing any shopping this weekend, Memphis police encourage you to not leave your items in plain view in your car and always stay alert.