For Immediate Release
Date October 19, 2007
For More Information: Brenda Rayner (901) 333-4247
Southwest Hosts Crime Prevention Luncheon
The Exchange Clubs of Memphis and Shelby County, in observance of National Crime Prevention Month, held their Annual Crime Prevention Luncheon on October 16 at the Southwest Macon Cove Campus. The Exchange, an all-volunteer, national service organization that promotes community service and leadership, is a part of the Southwest community relations network.
The luncheon honored four winning essayists from Memphis City and Shelby County schools who wrote on the theme “What would I do if I were in charge?” Jr. Sheriff – Elizabeth Wisdom from Riverdale Elementary, Jr. Chief Deputy – Nicholas Sanders from Highland Oaks Elementary, Jr. Police Director – Kiara Fentress from Kipp: Diamond Academy, Jr. Deputy Director – Max Lax from Richland Elementary, were selected by a panel of Memphis police officers, Shelby County sheriff’s deputies and members of various Exchange clubs as winners from among fifth graders in the city and county schools.
Keynote speaker U.S. District Attorney David Kustoff of the West Tennessee District, discussed crime statistics and efforts to stop crime by means of “Operation Safe Community,” a joint initiative by law enforcement, government and business leadership to make Memphis/Shelby County one of the safest communities of its size in the country by 2012. According to Kustoff, one of the most pressing problems is youth crime which is spawn by truancy. “Twenty-five percent of juvenile crime is committed during the school day,” said Kustoff. He indicated that adult-led mentoring programs can help detour truancy and that he encourages citizens to volunteer for mentoring programs during speaking engagements.
Patsy Anderson, director of the Southwest Gill Center, explained Southwest’s involvement in the Exchange Club. “I am involved as the director of the Gill Center at Southwest because this is one of the ways that we network with the community. I am a member of the Frayser Exchange Club and through the Exchange Club we honor youth.”
Denise Sigler, president of the Millington Exchange Club, participated in the Crime Prevention essay project for the first time. “This is a great youth project because it is helping to develop tomorrow’s leaders. This is something that may give them an extra push to do something different and step out of their box. And I just think it’s great,” said Sigler.
Family members and teachers of the essay winners were recognized at the luncheon. The Memphis Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office presented them with badges and certificates. The essay winners and their schools also received cash awards from the Exchange Club.
Cutline: Pictured (left to right): Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell, Elizabeth Wisdom, Nicholas Sanders, Max Law, Kiara Fentress and U.S. District Attorney David Kustoff.