Proposed Law Allows Neighborhoods To Get Restraining Orders Against Criminals

(Memphis) A new way to protect your neighborhood is in the works.

A bill allowing neighborhood groups to file restraining orders against criminals is one step closer to becoming a law.

"I think [the bill] is very important," said Cathy Houston.

She is proud of her home and her Southeast Memphis neighborhood, but said her pride, even her alarm system and bars on her windows, won't keep predators away.

A few doors down, Willie Banks, the president of their neighborhood association, said no matter what you do to keep the neighborhood safe, you can't stop criminals from coming back.

That's why the two support a new bill making its way through the Tennessee State House.

State Representative Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis), drafted it.

If it passes, it will allow established neighborhood associations, watches and other groups to get a restraining order against anyone who was convicted three times for crimes against homes inside the boundaries of the organization.

The restraining order could last a year.

Banks said the bill would be a step in the right direction and give a chance for his neighbors to take back community.

"I think it can be workable, but we will have to have back up from the police department," said Banks.

The bill will have to pass the finance committee and calendar and rules, and then it will go to the house floor.

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