Memphis domestic violence homicides see decrease

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — According to police statistics, Memphis homicides related to domestic violence were down by more than 50 percent in 2009.

The Commercial Appeal reports there were 17 domestic homicides in 2009 versus 35 in 2008.

Criminologist Richard Janikowski of the University of Memphis said the relatively small number of homicide cases makes it difficult to know whether the drop is part of a trend or just part of a normal year-to-year variation.

But Police Director Larry Godwin credited the decline to the department’s Domestic Assault Response Team, which offers counseling and advocacy services.

Overall, criminal homicides in Memphis dropped 7.5 percent, from 146 in 2008 to 135 in 2009.

The Associated Press