Mayor hopes to free school board of security burden - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Mayor hopes to free school board of security burden

One Memphis school board member called to shut-down the system in the wake of recent violence.

"I'm trying to prevent children from getting shot to death, man!!" said Kenneth Whalum, Jr. during a Wednesday morning news conference.

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton later held a news conference of his own.

"And I know some of you are going to say "there's Herenton again..arrogant," said Herenton.

He said it's time for the city to step-in to help step-up security.

"The mayor has made a decision for everybody," said Herenton.  "We're going to have metal detectors in middle and high schools," he added.

More police on campus are part of his plan too.  Herenton plans to foot the bill in order to free-up funds for the school district. 

"The board of education should focus on educating our children," said Herenton.

"We're ready to move with it," said MPD Director Larry Godwin.

Shelby County's other top cop is also on board.

"We do indeed have an issue facing our community," said Sheriff Mark Luttrell.

Martavius Jones was the only school board member to hear the mayor pitch his plan, in person.

"To me, just this cooperation between the city and the city schools is long overdue and welcome," said Jones.

He's not the only one happy to hear the mayor is willing to help.

"Regardless of who needs to fix it, I'm glad they have come together to try and fix it," said

Yvonne Acey with the Memphis Education Association.

The mayor says he wants to make this happen, no matter what it takes.

"We can't say to the citizens of Memphis we can't afford to do this," said the mayor.  "We can afford it and we're going to do it," he added.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.

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