Memphians hope new police chief can help reduce crime

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Cerelyn “CJ” Davis starts her job as Memphis Police Chief Monday.

She comes to town less than six months after Memphis wrapped up the deadliest year in the city’s history and in the middle of a year on pace to shatter that record.

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Many hope she can turn things around.

”I don’t think Memphis is worse off than any other metropolitan city,” said Jason Mitchell.

Mitchell was born and raised in Memphis. When he heard a record 290 people were murdered in the Bluff City last year, he wasn’t particularly alarmed.

“The other cities don’t necessarily highlight the murder rate. It is a problem and an issue,” said Mitchell.

It’s an issue Mitchell believes the new Police Chief “CJ” Davis can address through community outreach.

“Reach out to community leaders, not just pastors, but really going door to door,” said Mitchell.

Cynthia Johnson moved to Memphis from Nashville last year. As a transplant, she’d also like to see a crime reduction.

”I don’t get out that much, but I hear there’s a lot of crime, and I read about it. Every day someone is getting shot or killed or something,” said Johnson.

RELATED: 4 people killed in less than 4 hours overnight in Memphis, police say

In the past, Davis has said she is willing to meet with anyone who would like to have a discussion. Many hope this quality is an asset to her in the Bluff City, including teens.

”With her direct connection to people with the power, she can see, ok there’s poverty here, that’s why people are stealing. There are kids here without direction because their fathers are locked up or dead. So, how can we prevent the same thing from happening to them?” said Tavonte’ Campbell.

Many agreed they’re rooting for her.

“The whole city wants solutions, the whole city wants something to happen, but for that to happen, there has to be a dialogue,” said Mitchell.

Davis comes to Memphis from Durham, North Carolina, where she was the police chief for five years.

She comes to town less than six months after Memphis wrapped up the deadliest year in the city’s history and in the middle of a year on pace to shatter that record.