For more than a year now the Chattanooga Gang Intervention Task Force has moved toward a city-wide implementation of its program.
The rough draft is ready now...and phase two is underway.
The slogan for the effort is "the Future is Ours".
A year ago, Mayor Ron Littlefield hired assistant district attorney Boyd Patterson and community leader Fred Houser to head-up the city's first all-out effort to control gang violence.
As the study was being completed by UTC and the Ochs center, 2012 saw almost as many gang shootings as the year before.
But Patterson says things are coming together now.
BOYD PATTERSON, COORDINATOR, GANG TASK FORCE "We're in the middle of that second phase right now, bill, where the data from the assessment, the steering committee members provided feedback to develop an implementation plan. So we have a draft of that plan..its not complete...we're still working on it".
Patterson says the plan Chattanooga is using is a spin-off of one from the National Gang Task Force, and this program is on the cutting edge in meeting gang violence.
BOYD PATTERSON "The ultimate goal is to have that plan..that all the steering committee members understand, acceptable and to work for..how long that takes, I can tell you by the national time-line..hopefully we'll have our up an running sometime this spring."
FRED HOUSER, COORDINATOR, GANG TASK FORCE "We're still out in the community on a regular basis..taking to people at every level..individuals, organizations, churches, businesses..to keep them excited and engaged in the process."
For casual observers, the answer is simple--arrest gang members before they shoot or kill someone else. Not easy!
BOYD PATTERSON "It's not going to be perfect. its not. This is..as big as this is..comprehensive as the plan is going to be..there are always going to be kids in gangs. Always be, unfortunately, kids shooting each other...this is a start..everyone should understand..this is the best thing going."
Chattanooga police chief Bobby Dodd summed up the group's efforts last year when he said "we can't arrest our way out of this problem, it will take the whole community."