Crime consultant lays out plan to save young people in Monroe

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Curtis Spears, a Franklin Parish native, says he's excited to get started as the city's crime consultant.

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News

"Finally, I get a chance to give back to my home state," Spears said.

He also brings nearly 50 years of experience to the task, and his plan will focus less on making an arrest, and more on making a change.

"When there's been a violent crime, say a murder, I'm seeing an arrest for the most part, being made in short order," Spears said. "So, they're catching the culprits. But, have we fixed anything? I would say no."

On Thursday, he pitched a three-pronged approach. It includes things like creating a juvenile intervention team, and starting a family crisis rollout team, to save youngsters before they go to jail.

"If you really want to be proactive, let's get that child before they become a violent offender," Spears said.

Someone who knows that well - Ray Clary, the chief investigator at the Swanson Center for Youth. He says he deals with violent offenders daily, and many of them are hoping to be saved.

"They're waiting for us," Clary said. "They are absolutely waiting for us to help them get out of the stagnation they're in."

But, Thursday night's meeting wasn't just a rallying cry. Spears asked people to hold him accountable for improving things like crime rate, graduation rates and drop-out rates too.

"This is not just a feel-good program," Spears said. "We're looking for some measurable results."

Results he says he can bring, not just because of his time in law enforcement.

"I have a unique feel for the community because I grew up here," Spears said. "So it's like coming home."

Coming home, maybe, just at the right time.