Tools

Law Enforcement and Ministers Call a Code Red for West TN

By Jordan Hall
By jhall@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. -- After months of planning, area churches and the Jackson Police Department say they have teamed up to make a difference.

Ministers like Lovell Hayes say it's time to do something about crime in West Tennessee.

"We can have activities to get everybody excited but after that, what's being done? So we were looking for a way that we could actually do something," said Hayes.

Minister Hayes explained it's important the community sees them taking this initiave and going outside of the church building.

"The sense of unity and camaraderie and then being out front and leading. We're saying, 'we're doing something, go with us'. I believe that's immensely important." said Hayes.

The event is a part of Code Red, a civic group whose purpose is to involve and engage the community. The weekend's event is one of those ways to partner with local law enforcement and make a change.

"We need out young people to know that we care about them, that we're not just here to lock everybody up. We'd rather people behave themselves," said Deputy Chief Patrick Willis.

Officers said they hope getting churches involved and starting programs with young people in schools will change the future.

"This is not something that's gonna happen tomorrow. We're looking at the next generation of adults. We're looking at ten years, five years, that things are going to change for the better," said Captain Mike Holt.

He said he hopes this will be a tool the local community will use.

"I hope it's gonna empower them, give them something to work with, and fire them up to get out there and go amongst them," explained Holt.

The event Saturday, May 17 will be held at the NED in downtown Jackson from 9am to 1pm. It's open to the whole community.