MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - It may be no shock that crime is up in Memphis. One community leader plans to present ideas to the city that could put an end to the trend.
There have been more than 48,500 crimes committed in the Bluff City so far this year. At this time last year, Memphis police officers dealt with about 47,700 crimes.
Not only has there been a 2 percent jump in the number of crimes committed in 2012 compared to this time last year, violent crimes are up as well.
As of December 6, 121 people had been murdered in Memphis; in 2011 that number was 107.
Dwight Montgomery, President of the Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is well aware that the city has the reputation of being a "high crime community."
"Our city is not as safe as it should be," he said. "We need to be proactive."
Rapes are up by 21 cases, and the number of aggravated assaults has increased by 580.
"I want to have a safer community," Montgomery said. "You can have police officers on every corner but unless the community gets involved we're going to have a problem."
He says the group that specifically needs to join the fight against crime is the city's preachers.
"Instead of sitting back and listening to crime stats we need to be proactive and get involved and see what the church community can do."
He noted, "The majority of faith institutions are focused on what's going on in their congregation and not what's going on in the surrounding area and that's unfortunate."
According to Montgomery, there's a combination of things that need to be done in order to decrease crime. One thing he says will help is if police put sky-cops in high crime neighborhoods.
He plans to present that idea and others to Memphis Mayor A C Wharton at a public forum on December 27 at his church, Annesdale Cherokee Baptist. That meeting will start at 6:30 p.m.