Chattanooga city leaders explain new crime data
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke broke down the numbers.
"We spent a lot of time this year on gang related shootings, and those have gone down 18-percent. Over a course of time, it keeps getting better. In this quarter alone gang shootings are down 50-percent," Berke said.
Ironically on the same day that crime data was announced, a person was shot in the 200 block of west 38th Street. City leaders acknowledge flare-up’s in shootings will come and go.
"Well if you look at the numbers, we’re just going to average a shooting on most weeks; that’s unfortunate, but it’s true," Berke said
"Statistically, we’re going to have shooting every few days. The important part is that those numbers in the fourth quarter of 2014 are down dramatically," said Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher.
A reduction in shootings is also the result of police taking more than 700 illegal firearms off the street since the beginning of 2014.
But while the number of shootings are down, the number of homicides has increased from 17 last year to 27 this year. City leaders were quick to point out that not every homicide was a gang related shooting.
"We’ve also seen our domestic violence numbers come up. So through the family justice center and also through new policing tactics, in 2015 we’re going to start tackling domestic violence issues," Berke said.
"Nobody should be afraid and nobody should be in danger; particularly in their home, and we’re committed to addressing domestic violence," Fletcher said.
One of the ways Chief Fletcher is trying to reduce violence is by building bridges between police and communities were violence has notoriously run rampant. In recent months, he and members of his department have been going door-to-door to have casual conversations with residents about their concerns.
"And our response the last few weeks and months has been the community very much embraces us and helps provide information," Fletcher said.