Meridian mayoral candidate William Compton is breaking down why he says bringing a casino to the Queen City will help in fighting crime.
The key to curbing crime is to make more jobs available for young people once they are out of school, according to Republican mayoral candidate William Compton, Junior, who is a teacher at Meridian High School and works closely with youth in the area.
"They need a job when they get out of here," Compton says. "You know, crime is not a teenage problem. Crime is a Meridian business community problem, it is a leadership problem because we cannot provide these children with a job."
Compton tells Newscenter 11 the economic recession we've seen over the last few years only makes matters worse. He says leaders need to take drastic steps to ensure job creation. His step is to open a casino in Meridian's Threefoot building, something he says he ran by his students.
"And I said, so you can have some jobs," Compton recalls. "And they all turned around and started looking at me, you can get us some jobs? They were amazed that there could be an opportunity just to get a minimum wage job. Just to be able to get out of the high school and be able to go some place where the can get a paycheck."
In order to actually bring a casino to the Queen City though, Compton tells us city council would have to decide if it is a good idea and then, voters would have to decide. As for whether the casino would actually create more problems, he says no.
"We've already got problems," he explains. "You know, you want to just keep letting your problems continue to build. This is a way, a proven way to reduce crime."
Compton faces Republican Cheri Barry in the primary election on May 7th. Rod Amos and Percy Bland are running as Democrats.