New Chattanooga Police Chief on Tackling Crime

Reported by: Caitlyn Jones
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Updated: 7/17 10:07 am
        Chief Fred Fletcher says he is going to be policing Chattanooga in a new way.
        "It's going to be a Hallmark of my administration that you're not just going to see me out, but my chief of staff, my executive team, my command staff. They're going to start actively engaging the community" said Chief Fletcher.
        A big step in that direction is working with Hope for the Inner City.
        The City council passed the partnership Tuesday that gives the organization a $290,000  grant.
        "That is their mission is to connect the folks we've identified at being at risk for violence with the types of services that will help them break out of that cycle of arrests incarceration...it's all tied up into violence" said Chief Fetcher.
        Vincent Boozer is their program director.
        He says their experience working with gang members provides them the tools to help give people a second chance.
        "I think we've become the voice for the gang members.  They really have the solution and they give us the insight and in turn we help give other people insight on how to help them.  We've already tried the locking up process.  It doesn't work," said Boozer.
        Chief Fletcher also wants to increase the partnership between the department and everyday community members.
        "170-thousand sets of eyes telling us what is out of place and dangerous in their neighborhood and reporting that to us," the Chief said.
        James Moreland is the President of the Avondale Neighborhood Association and says he's right on board.
        "The neighborhood association themselves and the neighbors have got to be the ones to make sure their neighborhood is safe and then law enforcement become a partner or resource to help us do that," said Moreland.
        Moreland said he is optimistic these new ideas will yield a positive outcome.
        "I think Chief Fletcher has demonstrated some different things since he's been here," said Moreland, "He's shown some behavior different than traditionally since he's been here and I think from there it catches on and I think we're going to see some good things."
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