The geographic-based initiative involves placing a prosecutor in the precinct to work with officers, community leaders and neighborhood watch groups. The CPU plan allows the prosecutor to identify the worst criminal offenders and hold them accountable, while also trying to keep young lesser offenders out of the criminal justice system with alternative solutions.
“We’re going to be here working in the community, for the community and with the community,” Gen. Weirich told a group of residents. “We’re going to make this a safer community. We’re going to be addressing criminal behavior, but we’ll be doing it in a different way.”
Asst. Dist. Atty. Pam Stark will be the CPU prosecutor at Tillman. In January of 2017, the first CPU was established at the Old Allen Station Police Precinct which covers the Frayser and Raleigh areas of North Memphis.
“We’re very excited about this program,” said MPD Col. Prentiss Jolly, commander of the Tillman precinct. “By having a prosecutor here, we can make sure a case is sound and we can build trust with the community. I think this is a game changer.”
The Tillman Station area covers almost 26 square miles and includes an estimated 90,136 residents.
All indicted cases from Tillman will be handled by the same prosecutors at 201 Poplar and by Criminal Court Judge Paula Skahan so they will be familiar with the issues, problems and defendants from that area.
“I’m looking forward to working with everyone to make this a safer community,” Judge Skahan said. “I’ve been a judge for 14 years and I think this is the wave of the future.”
The Tillman CPU began last year on a limited basis, but with Judge Skahan recently agreeing to take the cases, it now is ready to move forward on a fulltime schedule.
The CPU in the Old Allen Precinct is headed by Asst. Dist. Atty. Carrie Shelton Bush and cases are handled by Criminal Court Judge John Campbell.
For more information about Community Prosecution visit: https://ndaa.org/programs/community-prosecution/