CLARKSDALE, Miss. (localmemphis.com) – Clarksdale, Mississippi officials say they will pay criminals to get out of town. The mayor said he will give criminals a second chance through programs or pay out of his own pocket to move them out of Clarksdale.
“We hope they don’t commit any criminal acts but guess what, if you’re here, we will help you move out of the city of Clarksdale,” says Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy.
Mayor Espy, along with chief of police Sandra Williams, put a plan in place to prevent crime about six months ago and it’s working. Officials say there has been a decrease in crime. There were 12 murders last year, and only one so far this year.
“We have no tolerance for crime. We have gone out and added additional officers to our department,” says Chief Williams.
The mayor and chief of police in Clarksdale say there are three groups they won’t tolerate; wanna-be criminals, drug dealers, and gang members. The mayor says if you don’t wanna play by the rules, he’ll pay out of his own pocket to move you out of Clarksdale.
“It’s not to say that you just want one criminal to move from one city to the next. They just might not have the good opportunities they need in this city,” says Espy.
Mayor Espy says he’ll pay up to $10,000 out of his own pocket to relocate criminals to other cities. Or criminals can choose to live a better life.
“We encourage them to stay and become great citizens of our city. And we’ll do everything in our power different skill set; etiquette classes to prepare them to become great citizens of our city,” says Reverend John Givens, City of Clarksdale Chaplain.
“They do have a second chance but at the end of the day, my job is to keep the citizens of Clarksdale safe,” says Espy. “We’ll have some benchmarks that they must show, but we’ll help them receive leasing opportunities in other cities. We’ll help them make that transition. If they need moving assistance, we’ll pay for it to get them out of this city.”