WREG Channel 3 6:00 News, October 24, 2014
Attacking Memphis teen violence with money
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It seems like every other day we hear of another big fight. Teens and young adults duking it out, even hurting innocent people. The mayor says he’s got money to help in a fight of his own. That fight is the one to stop these teens from going at it.
WREG looked at the role money will play in stopping teen violence.
Mayor A C Wharton said, “We’ve come up with a way to fund all these. I’m not going to tell you now. We’ll announce a huge grant already in hand.” Wharton added the money to help stop teen violence is already here. Now he’s just trying to find the best use for it.
WREG wanted to know how he got the money without having a plan drafted to spend it. The mayor’s office isn’t offering any details, not even to other city leaders.
“I don’t know anything about it other than what we saw on the news. I’m very excited if we can get $700,00 to $800,000 as start to address these issues,” council member Jim Strickland said. Strickland stresses the money is good, but it’s only part of the answer to juvenile violence.
Strickland said, “It’s not going to solve the problem but yes, it definitely can help because if you look at the organizations that really turn around the lives of children, The Boys and Girls Clubs, Streets Ministries, Memphis Athletic Ministries, it takes money to operate those organizations.”
The mayor says he’s still trying to figure out where the hundreds of thousands of dollars will go.
Councilman Myron Lowery warned his colleagues before they criticize the mayor for taking too long to come up with a plan, they should offer suggestions of their own. Lowery said, “Too many members look to mayor for leadership. If it’s not being provided, we have the right to develop it from the council.”
WREG asked Strickland about any solution the council has offered.
“The council has passed a curfew . There’s a curfew on the books right now but the Wharton administration will not enforce it,” Strickland said. Strickland says any grant money must be approved by the council, but how that money is distributed depends on the mayor and his administration.