MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis’ newest police chief, Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, says tackling gun violence is her top priority as the city reaches record crime levels.

Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis

Sworn in just four months ago, Davis agreed to talk to the media to explain the goals she’s set and how she plans on getting there.

“I’m optimistic that we can strive next year for a 5% decrease in part one crime,” Davis said. “We have already started working on how we move the needle.”

This includes working with federal, state and local agencies to focus on the neighborhoods most affected, creating a task force to go after motor vehicle thefts and increasing traffic enforcement to target speeding, drag racing and counterfeit tags.

Davis says she is also putting more weight on the felony assault unit to solve non-fatal shootings.

“Afterall, an aggravated assault, persons involved in these types of shootings, are likely to be your next murderer,” she said.

Davis acknowledged the community’s safety issues, but believes Memphis residents should still feel safe.

When you are in Memphis, you’re not in uniform, do you feel safe? why or why not? 

“I was thinking of that when you asked your previous question. I took myself out of the uniform. I wanted to respond honestly about how I feel. I sort of hit on it that feeling safe has a lot to do with how we do you know carry ourselves as well.”

Davis says she isn’t shocked at the amount of crime in memphis, but rather the nature of the crime happening here and across the country.

Besides tackling gun crime, Davis said she’s drafting a three-to-five year plan that includes community engagement, re-imagining policing, tackling organizational effectiveness and enhancing technology.

We’ve been asking for an interview with Davis for months.

Today, we were limited to the number of questions we could ask but we have put in another request to sit down with her to get more of your questions answered.

Hopefully she agrees to another interview soon.