A month or so ago Brian Elder came to the Memphis Police Department's Real Time Crime Center for a tour. I showed him some of the things we are doing and took him for a ride in the Prowler (license plate reader). I think I can safely say he was impressed. I told him we were having a major impact on crime in Memphis because of the strategies we have developed, including my own CyberWatch program, Blue Crush and the Prowlers, but none of that would have been possible if we didn't have a director who "gets it." Director Godwin has been a Godsend to us because he has pushed for better use of technology and he has listened to our plans, then allowed us the freedom to develop things other agencies haven't even thought of.
So, having said that, let's talk about this "thug thang". I used to do a weekly radio spot with my good friend, Mike Fleming, on AM 600, where we spotlighted people who had been arrested a minimum of 100 times. We had 140 people to pull from and on more than one occassion, we had a repeat spotlight on a repeater because they had ... yep... repeated. After about a year, I felt that I had done about all I could with that, as I could not see us getting any traction with the state legislature (everything has a bogus fiscal note attached to it), so I told Mike I was going to opt out. We had done all we could do.
During Brian's visit to the RTCC, I told him about having done the "TTOTW" with Mike and he suggested we resurrect it for his show. I told him I would think about it, and after talking to a few local legislators, I decided this might be a good platform to try to get a sentencing matrix implemented for TN. I know we have an "overcrowding" issue, but I'm not just talking about throwing everyone in jail. The real objective is to get people to stop this criminal behavior, or motivate them to move somewhere else. I contend that for minor crimes a person should never get the same or a lesser penalty for any subsequent arrests. I also think there should be a threshold number of CONVICTIONS that enact a "life penalty". That's right, a life penalty, as in you will spend the rest of your life in prison because you have demonstrated you will not function in society as anything other than a miscreant. What that number might be is up to the legislature. I think we should look at 10 convictions as the threshold, but make it 20 if you want. We simply need a definite number and a definite response to this anarchy.
I thought we would kick this off with a bang by spotlighting a person who was about as much a desperado as I could find. I think I have achieved that with this weeks thug. Our Thursday, Thug of the Week is a guy who has a lengthy track record (42 arrests), happens to have outstanding warrants and has been identified as being a member of the Gangster Disciples.
Keep in mind this is a bad guy. Do NOT try to apprehend - if you encounter him. Call the MPD (545-2677) or Crimestoppers (528-cash)
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Criminal Court Charges:
General Sessions Charges: