MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Crime was fresh on the minds of many who attended a town hall meeting in Cordova Tuesday evening.
It came just days after two people were injured in a shooting at Incredible Pizza on Germantown Parkway.
“When I heard about the shooting and then I heard about the meeting, I said, ‘Well, I better try and get down there to see what I can hear and what I can find out,’” said George Ross.
The meeting was attended by several Memphis City Council members as well as Assistant Police Chief Don Crowe and other high-ranking police brass.
Crowe linked elevated crime statistics with MPD’s officer shortage.
“We had 2,500 commissioned police officers. (In) 2010, we had the lowest number of homicides that we had had since 1971,” said Crowe.
But now, MPD is at 2,038 officers. Last year, Memphis broke records with 332 homicides.
He said MPD is going to try to get to 2,300 officers by 2023.
Crowe also said the city is seeing an uptick in stolen guns. If the current trend continues, he said there will have been 1,600 guns stolen from vehicles by the end of the year.
“That’s 1,600 guns that are probably gonna hit the street, be used in criminal acts and when you think about it, that’s gonna be 1,600 crimes that occur in Memphis,” Crowe said.
Police are encouraging gun owners not to leave their weapons unattended in vehicles.