July 2nd, 2011 - Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich, University of Memphis Center for Community Criminology & Research and Union Grove Baptist Church hit the streets of Frayser - again.
Shelby County D.A. Amy Weirich was spotted on the street again this week, but the County's Chief Prosecutor and "Crime Fighter" wasn't bagging bad guys...this time she was bagging trash in the Schoolfield area of Frayser.
The area, (roughly, Ajanders Drive at Elbert Cove), is a large residential area, now mostly vacant rental homes and duplexes. The area has had a rough reputation in the past for drug sales, robberies, thefts and other crimes, but the remaining residents in the area complain of blighted conditions the former residents and property owners have left behind.
Union Grove Baptist Church, 2285 Frayser Boulevard, spearheaded the clean up effort for the second time this year. Church Pastor, Rev. Walter Smith and "LifeLine 2 Success" Minister, DeAndre Brown assembled a team of two dozen volunteers, along with half a dozen volunteers from the University of Memphis' Center for Community Criminology and Research, and - D.A. Weirich.
"This is part of our effort at reaching out to the community through any means we can," said District Attorney Weirich. "The success of any crime plan must involve the community's leaders, and Union Grove Baptist is another example of that leadership."
The Shelby County District Attorney General's Office, Memphis Police Department & University of Memphis' Center for Community Criminology and Research have collaborated twice for the Drug Market Initiative, both times in the Frayser area. The effort focuses on law enforcement suppression of "open air" drug markets, with "no deal" prosecution for multiple offenders. However, for those offenders who have no prior record of drug offenses or violence, the program seeks to give them a chance to turn their lives around. If selected to the initiative, the candidates have to agree to stay clean, drug free, and avoid brushes with the law for a year, in exchange for dismissal of their drug offenses in the DMI area. They are also partnered with local community resources for job training, counseling and family services while in the program.