Youth crime is theme for District 3 candidates - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Youth crime is theme for District 3 candidates

Youth crime was the theme for all District 3 candidates. But most of them had different plans to tackle it.

NAACP Program Coordinator Madeline Cooper-Taylor wants to return to her City Council District 3 position to push for better education for our youth.

"Education plays back into the crime situation. We want to be able to provide jobs for people in District 3," says Cooper-Taylor.

Memphis City Schools TV Station Manager, Ike Griffith, has the same idea. "Through education we could really deter crime and have a true knowledge of what crime does to a community and to a city," adds Griffith.

District Attorney General Special Assistant, Harold Collins, says his emphasis in violent juvenile crime and truancy gives him a clear understanding that parents, schools and the community must take responsibility for our youth.

Collins adds, "We need to make a commitment to local law enforcement in providing the funding necessary for law enforcement to sustain and apprehend those individuals who are doing nothing but crime."

As the Director of job development for the youth group Bridges USA, Davida Caruthers says her goal is to guide the council to invest in our future.

"We have to make sure that we take back our young people and preventive measures to get them engaged early and into jobs and positive activities," explains Caruthers.

Attorney Jerome Payne says handling personal injury, consumer and bankruptcy cases gives him sobering insight. "I see all of these failures across from me at my desk and I made my mind up that I was not going to watch hopelessness in another child's eyes," says Payne.

Restaurant owner Albert Banks hopes to be a link between the disenfranchised and City Hall. "I think with that, we could probably put a dent in crime. We won't stop it, but we could put a dent in it." 

Longtime Democratic Party member, Coleman Thompson, who founded the Pyramid Recovery Center, says crime is usually linked to substance abuse.

"I emphasize very strongly that what separates me apart from the other candidates is I don't need any training. I can hit the ground running," adds Thompson.

With new plans to enhance Graceland and tight-knit neighborhoods holding on in the area, some call this a turning point in keeping District 3 on track.

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