Memphis set a new record for homicides in a single year this week, topping last year’s record number of homicides as violent crime spikes nationwide.

“On Thursday, Memphis police reported 333 homicides, meaning the city has officially passed the grim record set in 2020 of 332 homicides. Of those 333 homicides occurring this year — 292 are classified as murders,” Commercial Appeal said. “The remainder of the deaths fall into categories such as justified homicides or instances of negligent manslaughter.”

Memphis’ appointed Police Chief Chief C.J. Davis held a community forum in November, telling attendees that she was “taking a very, very close look” at the resources available to curb crime in the city.

Other areas of crime of particular interest in Memphis are those committed by minors, other gun crimes besides homicide, and reckless driving.

But Davis is trying to take a measured approach to the violent crime problem.

“We don’t want to over-militarize,” she reportedly said at the time.

They are also trying to get the community engaged by promising to relocate crime witnesses to safe locations, and even asking pastors to relay a message to their congregations: if you know someone who has taken a life, do not protect them from the police.

Earlier in December, using Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data from 2020, 24/7 Wall St. ranked Memphis as the most dangerous metro area in the United States.

“More than 18,000 violent crimes were reported in the metro area in 2020, or 1,359 for every 100,000 people — more than three times the U.S. violent crime rate,” that report says. “The number of homicides committed in Memphis climbed by 38%, from 237 in 2019 to 327 in 2020. At 24.2 per 100,000 people, the homicide rate in Memphis is the second highest of any U.S. metro area.”

WREG reports that in an effort to bolster its police force, Memphis PD is now offering a $15,000 signing bonus for new officers.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].