Wharton announces plan to reduce gun violence - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Wharton announces plan to reduce gun violence

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Just moments after the news broke of two teenagers shot at a community center, Mayor A. C. Wharton released a new plan to address gun violence in the community.

The timing was a coincidence, the message was not.

"The number one concern in our community is crime particularly among our young folks," said Wharton.

Wharton is faced with a gun violence rate that exceeds the national average.

Wharton introduced a five point plan to reduce gun violence called, "Memphis Gun Down."

The plan focuses on increased police effort to get criminals off the streets.

"We know where the bad stuff that's going on. We have the profiles of the folks who are doing it," said Wharton.

But making arrests is not the only solution.

The bigger challenge is changing a culture. To renounce violence rather than accept violence, and to provide jobs and educational opportunities for the city's youth.

"We're going to give the right place, to be at the right time, to do the right thing," said Wharton.

The plan includes interventions on the streets, in schools and in hospitals before violence erupts.

It also includes reviewing the city's policies to reduce youth gun violence.

The mayor is clear, the plan is not about the gun control debate — it's about saving lives.

"That's what comes to me every time I hear of a shooting. Not what's going to happen in Washington, but what can we do in the streets of Memphis, Tennessee right now," said Wharton .

Wharton is calling on the entire community to take aim at the issue and make neighborhoods safer.

To read more about the Memphis Gun Down Plan click here.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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