Memphis hits 61 Police director speaks about high crime

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Memphis hits 61 Police director speaks about high crime

Postby Oaktown_G » May 10th, 2006, 10:15 pm

Early Wednesday morning... Another murder. This time, an 18 year old shot dead in his apartment.

The City's 61st homicide.

Director Larry Godwin with the Memphis Police Department says, "I'm not satisfied. I don't think anyone in this administration's satisfied."

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin says police are doing everything they can.

But the murder rate is up from this time last year by almost fifty percent.

Godwin continues, "I've been asked at Council to look at it real close. Do you need 50 more officers? We're working the numbers now and if I have a place for them and I can honestly say this is what I'm going to do with them. But I'm not going to ask for 50 officers just for the sake of getting my numbers up."

Instead, Godwin and District Attorney General Bill Gibbons say they need money to get the talk right on the streets, pointing to the success of these billboards years ago at reducing gun crime.

Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons says, "That federal money helped a lot. All of that is dried up now. And as a result we're not doing as good a job today at getting that message out to the street level through tv spots, radio spots, billboards and so on as we were three or four years ago."

Tougher guns laws have been stalled in Nashville for five years - he says - and the D.A.'s office has too few prosecutors, each of whom handle 12-hundred cases.

Cases take longer to go to trial. Prosecutors have less time to prepare.

Gibbons continues, "If we had the number of prosecutors per cases that say, Manhattan does, we would have triple the number of prosecutors that we have now."

It's not realistic, he says. But it's helpful perspective.
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