Mayor Meets with Local Law Enforcement Officials and Offers Plan for Crime Reduction
In his second consecutive day in Shelby County since winning the Highlands Town Hall debate Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial nominee and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam today discussed crime and public safety issues in meetings with local and regional law enforcement officials and toured a local apartment complex.
Hosted by Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons, who has endorsed his campaign for governor, Haslam has included public safety in his Memphis Plan -- a Memphis-specific strategy for state government -- which he released earlier this year. Public safety is also one of Mayor Haslam's five target areas tied to his overall goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.
Today discussions centered on the unique challenges related to public safety in Memphis as well as what it will take to reduce crime across the state.
"As Mayor, public safety comes first," Haslam said. "We've had a commitment in Knoxville to stronger, safer neighborhoods, and as governor I'll work for stronger, safer communities.
"The challenges facing communities across the state are not always the same, which is why cooperation with local law enforcement who understand the unique local solutions that are needed is critical," continued Haslam. "There are some important changes, however, we can make at the state level that will help reduce crime across the board."
Mayor Haslam understands that strengthening state sentencing laws for violent crimes will be one of the keys to keeping our worst criminals off the streets and making sure communities are safe. The Mayor will take a data-driven approach to reducing crime and improving the efficiency of our corrections system, and he will use data to inform decisions about where to focus resources in order to address crime trends, reduce recidivism, and minimize the cost to taxpayers.
"One of the greatest things that came from having General Gibbons in the race for governor was that he served to elevate the conversation around crime and public safety," said Haslam. "I agree with General Gibbons that if the state wants to get serious about reducing crime and keeping our communities safe that we must increase the penalties for committing violent crimes.
"I recently announced my plan to create a dashboard for the state that will allow us to measure our progress in a number of areas," added Haslam. "Public safety is one of the areas I will target, and I truly believe that using a data-driven approach and using this information to hold state government accountable will be critical to reaching our goals of a safer state that is a leader in job creation."
This morning Mayor Haslam met with General Gibbons, Shelby County Assistant District Attorney John Campbell, Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin, Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham, and District Attorneys Mike Dunavant, Kim Helper, Phil Bivens and Garry Brown. This afternoon Mayor Haslam will tour the Warren apartment complex on Clementine Road with General Gibbons, and this evening the Mayor will attend a fundraiser hosted by Barbara and Pitt Hyde.