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SCDP White Paper: Let's "Pro-Tech" Law Enforcement Budgets and Public Safety

Submitted by Candice Jones

Candidate for County Commission District 11


It’s not exactly a secret that Southeast Memphis has a crime problem. We are confronted with this reality at every turn as residents of Parkway Village. Living with the fear of being shot or robbed can bear on a community and it’s the county’s responsibility to make sure that taxpayers can dwell and move about peacefully within its boundaries. Safety is a basic human right but how we invest in public safety must be an ethical and practical choice that can help our community to flourish.


Yes, I’m talking about District 11, a community still ripe with middle class character and plenty of industry. It’s threatened everyday because the crime is going to run people out of the neighborhood. I realize that the people of my district pay a lot to keep our local economy going; however they are not getting a lot in return. It’s time that the taxpayers of District 11 start getting a return on their investment. We spend a lot of political time talking about crime instead of implementing solutions and helping our communities understand how they work.


Early in my career, I started out by assisting the county commission with its crime fighting

efforts and the best defense is a good offense to crime. I took an offensive stance when I decided to go out and identify locations in Whitehaven, Oakhaven, Parkway Village, Fox Meadows, and Hickory Hill for SkyCop cameras in neighborhoods. I also enlisted neighborhood associations and community-based organizations that wanted to stand against crime. Despite recent data about the SkyCop program, it shows a need to address any program’s shortcomings if it does not make sense of the data and community reporting.


That’s why we have to rely on not just technology and data, but neighborhood activism and county law enforcement to swoop in when a community is in distress. Yet, it also requires these initiatives to be people-powered: adequately staffed by law enforcement, ethically trained and held accountable by leadership, and efficiently vested and voiced by the

community.


For example, we are offensive when we start aggressively seeking out stolen vehicles. Some of our most heinous crimes are committed in stolen vehicles. When we scan tags we find out instantly where these stolen cars are traveling and we can stop the nefarious activity. We must not be afraid to fund our Sheriff’s department and give them the resources to purchase technology like license plate scanners that sniff out crime before it snuffs out our quality of life. That’s making our dollars work for communities staggering from property theft and gun violence without resolution. Taking an offensive approach to ensuring all communities feel and look safer in turn makes disinvested communities like mine easier to market for businesses and investors to expand our collective vision for a stronger District 11.


If I am elected as county commissioner for District 11, I will continue to employ technology to help our neighborhoods take offensive stances towards criminal acts. That’s what we need. I am honored to continue the fight, and we must go on with the neighborhoods that I have organized and suit up to take back our communities.


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