With the city’s curfew on pause, city leaders look to other options to keep kids out of trouble
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The plan to house teens who break curfew at Greenlaw Community Center is OFF THE TABLE.
In fact, Memphis police chief CJ Davis says her officers will not be enforcing curfew at all.
With school ending this week, we’re asking city leaders what’s the plan for the summer?
One of the answers to this question seems to be city-run programs.
A Memphis city spokesperson says about 1900 kids are enrolled in the city summer camps.
The paid internship program, MPLOY, has about 1500 students.
Still even with these programs in place, there are 100,000 students in MSCS alone with a majority living in the city.
Some residents want to know what the city has planned for the youth this summer.
“It’s made it really hard to deal with this heat because heat causes hostility. I’m telling you it’s going to be hot out here for real and these kids got to have somewhere to go, said Uptown resident Pat Scott who knows idle time for Memphis youth can spell trouble.
“It’s the daytime that I’m worried about, in the daytime what are they going to do? Because they got to get out that house,” said Scott.
Scott lives across the street from the Greenlaw community Center, one of 24 city owned facilities.
During the summer Greenlaw will be open from 8 to 5pm Monday through Friday and 8am to 2pm on Saturdays.
Memphis City council chair Martavius Jones says that’s part of the city’s problem.”So why not look at a more robust community centers, look at some of our schools, open them up on the weekends, have extended hours for that,” said Jones.
Jones says Mayor Jim Strickland should have asked for a bigger budget to extend hours of all community centers in the city for the summer.
City officials say there have 7 community centers with extended hours during the summer.
Bert Ferguson, Ed Rice, Gaston, Glenview Hickory Hill, Raleigh and Hollywood community centers will be open an additional 3 hours until 8pm Monday through Friday.
Jones says that isn’t enough.
He is especially concerned about the weekends.
The council is currently in budget discussions and says something can still be done.
“We know that this June is the end of this fiscal year however the budget that we are discussing right now kicks in July 1st, that is still a part of the summer and also will include June of next year,” said Jones.
“I think this administration wants to go out and say we didn’t raise taxes, but I don’t think that’s adequately addressing some of the problems we have in this community,” said Jones.
Mayor Jim Strickland said Wednesday the city could do more, but calls Jones comments malarkey.
Strickland says the city has doubled the number of youth in the city’s employment program and has made partnerships with non-profits and MSCS to give kids something to do for the summer.
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