"Trust Pays" program moving into elementary schools - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

"Trust Pays" program moving into elementary schools

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - CrimeStoppers of Memphis and Shelby County is moving its Trust Pays program into elementary schools in Memphis.

Tuesday, CrimeStoppers' Buddy Chapman said Trust Pays is improving safety for children in school by encouraging them to report criminal activity.

"They go to that trusted individual and tell them what they know," Chapman explained. "That trusted individual keeps their name in confidence.  The principal reacts.  If they find what's alleged, they tell me."

Since the program kicked off in 2006, more than 400 tips have been received from students in middle and high schools in the city and county school districts.  Those tips have led to the confiscation of 44 guns, more than 60 knives and razors, and 253 types of drugs, ranging from marijuana to cocaine.

CrimeStoppers is now introducing the program to children in elementary school.

"It's important to target the elementary kids so they'll be aware of the Trust Pays program prior to middle school, because middle schools are a particular problem with gangs, and they're recruiting younger and younger," Chapman said.
Chapman said the recent incident at Highland Oaks Elementary, where a 6-year-old was suspended for bringing a gun to school, is a prime example of crime.

"I cannot confirm that was a Trust Pays tip, but I'm sure it was a child that told the bus driver about the weapon," he said.

CrimeStoppers has produced a two minute video to introduce the "Trust Pays" program to kids in elementary school.

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