District Attorney Amy Weirich and Crime Commission President Bill Gibbons released a column in the Daily Memphian discussing the challenge of gang violence – a major focus of the Safe Community plan.
Read the full column here: Curbing the gang violence ‘epidemic’ is Memphis’ priority
“To curb gang violence, we must stop the youthful offender pipeline into gangs. About half of all offenders going through the Juvenile Court system are repeat offenders. We must do a better job of addressing issues in a juvenile’s life or family life upon the first encounter with law enforcement so that there will be no additional encounters, especially ones involving violence. That’s why we support strongly giving law enforcement the option of diverting first-time non-violent offenders to a youth assessment center staffed by professionals.
We have strategies in place that can effectively reduce gang violence. Now is not the time to let up. We must commit the energy and resources necessary to get the job done. We must not surrender a single neighborhood to gang violence.”