Official says "Trust Pays" helps weed out guns and drugs - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Paranjape

Official says "Trust Pays" helps weed out guns and drugs

The Manassas High shooting was not the first time a gun was found in a Memphis classroom this year.

In 2007 from January to October, there have been 31 guns found inside Memphis and Shelby County schools.

Buddy Chapman, the head of Memphis CrimeStoppers, is the head "Trust Pays," a program designed to fight crime in schools.

"It's getting worse and worse," he said.

Basically, any student who has information about weapons or drugs at school can tell an adult they "trust."  That adult will pass along the information to the principal, who then tells police.
The student is PAID anywhere from $50 to a$1,000 for the information, and remains anonymous.

"Guns and drugs in school...that's not snitching," Chapman said. "That's being responsible, because we're talking about danger here."

Since the program's inception in January, there were 62 weapons, including knives, razors, and guns, found in area schools. 
"It used to be an unusual year when we found 2 or 3 guns for the whole year," Chapman said. "Well, what have we done, we found four in two months, and in the six months last (school) year we found 27."

 And, Chapman said, there are a handful of students who didn't want the reward.  Those incidents are not recorded in the Trust Pays program.
Chapman said not all the schools in Memphis and Shelby County participate in Trust Pays, but he believes they should.

"I can't say Trust Pays could've prevented Manassas, but I can tell you this:  Somebody there, some responsible student, knew that kid had a gun, besides the one that got shot," he said.

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