Mississippi mayor says he’ll personally pay for criminals to leave town

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FILE – In this June 15, 2018 file photo, cash is fanned out from a wallet in North Andover, Mass. Only 33% of American adults follow a budget, according to an October 2017 survey of Americans from NerdWallet . The time and effort involved are often cited as the reasons, but trying and failing is […]

CLARKSDALE, Miss. (AP) — The mayor of one Mississippi Delta city says he’s willing to spend up to $10,000 of his own money to pay criminals to move out of town.

Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy said Monday that if lawbreakers don’t think they can turn their life around there, he’ll pay for them to move elsewhere.

Espy says that’s just part of his plan to cut crime. Clarksdale’s 18,000 residents expressed alarm last year after 12 homicides were recorded.

There’s been only one homicide so far in 2019. Espy credits improvements to Police Chief Sandra Williams hiring new officers and a new investigator.

Espy says getting criminals to leave town isn’t his only gambit. He says he’s also focusing on rehabilitation and intervention for those who want to go straight and remain in Clarksdale.

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