Memphis mayor challenges parents to help stop crime

WATCH: Memphis Mayor calls on parents to make sure crime numbers don’t continue to rise

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mayor Jim Strickland called for parents to help stop the violence in the city.

“I’m challenging parents to step up and be good parents," exclaimed Strickland. “Know where your kids are, check their backpacks and if they have guns, get rid of them.”

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This comes after one of the most violent years in the city.

There’ve been over 180 murders and more than 200 homicides.

“People are looking for answers right now, especially people at the school level," said Timothy Green with the Memphis Restorative Justice Coalition. "We’re all trying to figure out how can we support our communities virtually and also support them out in the community on a limited capacity.”

Green is an activist in the local community who’s working to help local teens and young adults to combat the violence.

Strickland narrowed the problem down to a lack of resources due to the shutdown caused by COVID-19.

He said while parks, gyms and other resources have closed their doors, it’s opened the door to a bigger problem: an increase in violence.

“Most positive activities that we have normally have all been shut down due to COVID-19," Strickland said. "We don’t have those positive outlets, so we only have negative outlets.”

According to Green, the challenge is working to create alternative outlets for teens and young adults during a pandemic.

He agreed that parents have to take on more of a responsibility with their children, but he also said it takes a village.

“I do support what the Mayor is saying for parents to take a bigger role, but I think the community is a bigger part of it as well. With parents getting more resources to them and parents getting help, I definitely think we can get Memphis on the right track,” Green explained.