Community ‘summit’ aims to empower community to tackle violent crime

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tackling violent crime continues to be the focus of local and federal law enforcement in Memphis, and Saturday, for the second time this year, people have come together for ideas and solutions on how to curb the violence.

At what is known as the “Better Community Summit,” the goal was creating partnerships to reduce violent crime.

“It’s important for our office to be involved in the preventive part of it too,” said Joseph Murphy, the US Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.

Murphy’s office works, the federal level, to prosecute the most serious of offenses.

“The answer to the violent crime problem is not just prosecuting people, it’s to address people’s needs before they turn into violent offenders,” Murphy said in an interview. “By the time people have committed violent crimes and they get to us, it’s too late to do anything about it.”

Holding sessions on preventing the cycle of domestic violence, conflict resolution and de-escalation, and talking with people involved with gangs, those living in the south Memphis community were given a chance to meet with leaders for real life solutions.

“In time we will see a difference if we keep trying to make it better,” said Rev. Dr. Walter Womack, president of the Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

“I know it’s not going to be an overnight success, but I believe if we stay committed … I think we can bring about a difference,” Womack said.