Police, community unite to offer new start

RALEIGH, TN (WMC) - Breaking down barriers between police and the community was the goal of an empowerment event Saturday in Raleigh.

The focus is getting people back on their feet.

With a band bringing energy, the music represented a fresh start for some.

"That mission is to empower the people in the community and assist them in some of the hurdles and obstacles they find in their way on a day to day basis," Therman Richardson said.l

Richardson is a Memphis police officer and also part of a nonprofit called Perfect Harmony. He calls community events like this one his passion.

The group gathered the resources in one place for people to learn about record expungement, child support payment, and driver's license reinstatement.

Lance Taylor thought he'd have to pay $7,000 to get his license back, but instead, he found out he only has to come up with $600.

Now he's glad he asked.

"A lot of people standing around won't get their license because of the money situation you know," Taylor said.

Another part of the event centered on helping felons find jobs, and that's actually a large focus of Greater Imani Church, which opened its doors for the event.

"We have every year a felon job fair where we get companies to come and interview convicted felons for jobs," Dr. Bill Adkins said. "We've gotten over 1,000 people in the past few years jobs."

Richardson said building a better Memphis comes down to trust between the police and the people they serve, and events like this are critical.

"If the police department and the community can work together in perfect harmony, we can be proactive as a police department and we can work out a lot of things that need to be addressed," Richardson said.

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