MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A Shelby County Commission committee voted Wednesday to adopt a five-year Safe Community Action Plan from the Memphis-Shelby County Crime Commission as a framework to support legislation for public safety initiatives.
Memphis-Shelby County Crime Commission President Bill Gibbons presented some of the more than 60-page plan to Shelby County Commissioners Wednesday, saying there are 20 specific steps if implemented together could make a positive impact on the community.
“It represents a balanced approach of intervention, prevention, and enforcement,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons called it a community plan based on 13 meetings with hundreds of people participating.
A large portion of his presentation focused on young people.
“This year, we will have, based on current trends, we will have about 600 juveniles charged with serious violent offenses,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons pointed to the recent problems at the Wilder Youth Development Center, which over the last few years has dealt with numerous escapes by teens among other issues at the state-run center.
He said almost all of those juveniles will be in community supervision.
“And they can only house about 35 serious juvenile offenders at a time. So when you look at 600 this year, most of them are going to be under community supervision,” he said.
Gibbons said Youth Villages has agreed to take the lead in providing intensive services to serious offenders.
“The devil is in the details of course but there’s a lot of discussion about how to set that up, a lot of meetings going on and hopefully we can get that really underway,” he said.
Gibbons also said the plan tackles addressing the shortage of officers and correctional officers in the county along with mental health and behavioral health resources for inmates at 201 Poplar.