Mississippi mayor offers $10K for criminals to leave town

CLARKSDALE, Miss. — Clarksdale’s mayor and police department unveiled a new five-point crime-fighting plan. The plan includes the mayor offering to pay criminals to relocate who don’t think they can turn their lives around in Clarksdale.

Mayor Chuck Espy offered to use his own money to pay for some criminals to leave. “We are talking directly to three groups of people. Drug dealers, gang members, and any wannabe criminals in the city of Clarksdale.”

Mayor Espy has a very clear message. If you are a criminal – leave Clarksdale.

If you don’t think you can turn your life around in the city, then he will help you move away. The moving fund is up to $10,000. That money is coming straight from the mayor’s pockets.

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According to the mayor, the city’s crime-fighting has been working. Chief Sandra Williams spoke to other efforts.

“We have gone out and added additional people to our department. We hired someone from MBI who is a retired investigator, that person is responsible to look at all the felony cases.”

Reverend John Givins from Clarksdale also spoke with FOX13 about the issue. “We encouraged them to stay in our city and become great citizens. We will also be putting an etiquette class in place for these people. And we have skill sets to prepare them for jobs coming to the city of Clarksdale.”

The mayor also told FOX13 he’s asking for corporate help to help fund the moving expenses.

We reached out to a few civil rights organizations for comments on the mayor’s proposal to pay criminals to leave the city. We haven’t heard back.

In 2018, there were 12 homicides in Clarksdale.

The police chief told us the new efforts have the homicide count this year at just one.