MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We’ve all heard the phrase “snitches get stitches,” but this culture has hindered many investigations across Shelby County.
901WRAP is said to the first of its kind in the state. It’s designed to help witnesses feel safe enough to share critical information that could be key to solving crimes.
Pastor Dr. Bill Adkins of Greater Imani Church said the idea came about after an 8-year-old girl who attended his church was killed when a stray bullet came flying into her home.
His church made the initial $10,000 contribution to the Witness Relocation and Assistance Program. The Shelby County Commission is also joining in on the effort donating $150,000.
The money could go towards helping witnesses with hotel fees, cost for long-term relocation and other emergency expenses.
Dr. Adkins said crime is so bad he doesn’t even let his wife pump gas anymore, and the community has to be willing to step forward to reduce crime.
“We have a murder and ten, twenty, thirty people may know who did it.. but no one is willing to step forward because they don’t want to because they don’t want to be labeled as a snitch,” Pastor Dr. Bill Adkins said. “But they know who did it yet they have to hide in their homes scared to walk out of the door.”
Organizers are exploring state funding and grant opportunities. They are also encouraging people to contribute by donating to the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.