Randy Boyd Releases Detailed Law & Order Plan to Keep Tennessee Safe

May 10, 2018

For Immediate Release,
Thursday, May 10, 2017

Bold, Blue and Safe – A Three-Pronged Strategy for Safer Streets, Schools & Communities Across Tennessee

Martin, Tenn. – Randy Boyd, Republican candidate for Governor, unveiled today 16 specific priorities he’ll take to the Governor’s office to crack down on crime and criminals and to better protect our state. Boyd’s announcement comes on the eve of National Police Week, celebrating the hard work and sacrifice of law enforcement officers all across the country to protect and defend their communities.

Building on the advice and counsel he’s received from law enforcement officials from all across Tennessee, Boyd is emphasizing Enforcement, Education, and Prevention in his integrated approach in making Tennessee the safest state in the South.

“I believe the number one priority of our next Governor must be to keep our communities safe and secure,” Boyd said. “So I’ve listened carefully and worked closely with law enforcement officials in every corner of the state, and what I hear consistently is we must work harder and smarter together if we are going to keep every neighborhood in our state safe from crime, drugs, and violent gangs.”

In the last year, Boyd has hosted a series of public safety roundtables across Tennessee to engage local sheriffs, police, district attorneys, victim’s rights advocates, and community leaders in assessing the state of public safety in Tennessee. He has met one-on-one with over 70 sheriffs and police chiefs and toured over 40 county jails. As a result of this collaboration, nearly 50 law enforcement leaders are advising Boyd on public safety issues and the framework of his comprehensive plan.

Enforcement: Get Tough on Criminals.  We know what works.  Let’s support local law enforcement and invest in the people and policies that help keep criminals locked up in jail and off our streets.

  • Certainty in Sentencing. If you commit the crime, you will do the time. We should look to Virginia as a best practice, where convicted felons serve at least 85% of the sentence. That state has demonstrated lower costs and lower crime as a result.
  • More District Attorneys.  We have a significant shortage of district attorneys to help prosecute those who commit crime. We must build this to an adequate level to return efficiency to our courts and deliver justice for crime victims.
  • Crackdown on Gangs.  We will provide funding to the TBI to create five new gang task forces, hiring 25 new agents, to assist local law enforcement with the support they need to stamp out violent gangs like MS-13 in Tennessee.
  • Support Our Officers: One of the most effective ways of keeping Tennesseans safe is by better supporting our law enforcement and correctional officers. That includes creating a competitive training supplement that matches bordering states and allowing retired officers to continue serving in other agencies without losing previous benefits. 
  • Increase in School Security.  The state must provide the support to local school districts and law enforcement to provide for more and better-trained School Resource Officers to protect our children in our schools. We must also take the lead in exploring all available techniques and technologies to better protect school facilities as we have done at our airports, state office buildings, and other facilities.
  • Stop Child Predators.  The Internet Crimes Against Children team has only three teams with a total budget of $750,000.  We will triple that and then do whatever we need to do make Tennessee the last place in the country that any perpetrator would ever dare prey on our children.

Education: Creating Greater Opportunities for Both Youth and Adults.  Putting and keeping criminals behind bars is job number one.  But we can’t just incarcerate our way to a safer state. Creating greater opportunities can be the balm for many of our social ills – and education is the gateway to greater opportunity and progress on both juvenile justice reform and crime prevention.

  • Expand Community Schools. We will explore the Community School concept in our highest need/highest poverty areas to ensure a safer, healthier environment with better educational supports from community non-profits to help keep more at-risk kids in school and to prevent a life of crime.
  • More Technical Training. There are over 100,000 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 in Tennessee with no job, who are not in school, and with little hope for the future.  This will not lead to anything good. We will restore technical education in every Tennessee high school so that every student has the opportunity to graduate with the skills they need to immediately get a good-paying job.
  • Reconnect Adults. We will look for ways to pioneer scholarship opportunities for law enforcement and correctional officers for additional training, development, and higher education. And we must fully leverage the new Tennessee Reconnect scholarship program to offer tangible technical training, diplomas, certificates, and employment opportunities for Tennessee adults who have only a high school diploma.
  • Reduce Recidivism. We will promote and encourage more faith-based and work-based education and training programs like those being offered in Greene County, for example, with the goal of dramatically reducing the revolving door of recidivism and repeat offenders.  
  • Expand Anti-Gang Programs. Working with law enforcement partners, we will expand programs like the Phoenix program in Jackson to help carry an anti-gang message to at-risk youth.
  • Build Community Support.  We will support and encourage non-profit programs like Crime Stoppers and Cop Stop to expand statewide and to help them grow in impact and visibility.  Communities must be active partners to help build better and more positive relationships with law enforcement.

Prevention: Expand Drug Courts and Treatment Options. We know that in many ways crime and addiction are linked, but they are not the same. As Governor, we will work to ensure we punish criminals, while also treating and recovering addicts.  We need more treatment options that are fair, effective, and efficient.

  • Reinvest in Mental Health.  Up to 70% of inmates at many jails are there due to mental health or addiction issues.  They don’t receive adequate treatment and usually return to jail soon after release. It costs 7 times less to treat them at a mental health facility than to keep them incarcerated in a jail. We need to develop a range of patient-appropriate mental health facilities across the state so the facilities are closer to more agencies. We either invest in these facilities or we will have to invest in ever larger jails and prisons.
  • Expand Drug Recovery Courts. We need to expand drug courts in every high need area in the state
  • Pilot Mental Health Courts. Work to increase and expand upon Mental Health courts in Tennessee.
  • Create Alternatives for Patient Transport.  We must find an alternative means to transport those that have mental health or addiction issues, but who have not committed a crime, rather than mandating that local law enforcement handle. We must also do more to increase funding for mental health facilities and look to pilot mental health response teams to better aid local law enforcement.

“Tennessee is blessed with brave men and women who put their lives on the line each day to enforce the law and I am proud to stand with them,” said Boyd. “But they cannot do it alone. As Governor, we will actively work on these and other initiatives to help keep Tennessee’s neighborhoods and communities safe.”

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A successful entrepreneur, business, and philanthropic leader, Boyd is the founder and chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, which is headquartered in Knoxville. First started out of the back of Boyd’s van, the company today produces over 4,600 pet products under brand names such as Invisible Fence, PetSafe, and SportDOG, with more than 700 employees and annual revenues of nearly $500 million.

 

Boyd previously served in Governor Bill Haslam’s cabinet as the state Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, and earlier while serving as the Governor’s Special Advisor on Higher Education was the architect of the state’s Drive to 55 workforce development initiative, and the tnAchieves and Tennessee Promise scholarship programs to help more young people go to technical or
community college tuition-free.

For more information about Randy Boyd and his campaign for Governor, please visit RandyBoyd.com –or like him on Facebook at RandyBoydTN, or follow him on Twitter @RandyBoyd.

 

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