published Monday, March 21st, 2011

Chattanooga: Coolidge Park won’t close earlier in wake of shooting

  • photo
    Chattanooga Chief Bobby Dodd speaks to the media at the Police Service Center about a recent disturbance at Coolidge Park as Mayor Ron Littlefield, right, looks on. The Chattanooga Police unveiled new measures to keep Coolidge Park safe.
    Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Authorities will not close Coolidge Park any earlier than usual at night despite fights and crowds of juveniles, city officials said this afternoon at a news conference.

However, more officers will staff the park on weekends. And minors will not be allowed to go unaccompanied inside the park, they said.

Mayor Ron Littlefield characterized the shooting last Saturday night as “unacceptable for the community” and said “it will not be tolerated.”

City officials encouraged more parental involvement and supervision of minors.

“We can’t arrest our way out of this,” Chattanooga Police Department Chief Bobby Dodd said. “There’s just no way. Two hundred officers couldn’t have stopped this from happening.”

  • Video: Chattanooga leaders discuss Coolidge Park shootings
    During a news conference Monday, Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield and Police Chief Bobby Dodd spoke about measures law enforcement will be making to quell the violence after shots were fired in Coolidge Park on Saturday.

More Chattanooga police officers will staff the park on weekends, which will cost about $1,500 more every weekend, Littlefield said.

Police said they knew of a possible fight that could take place at the park over the weekend. Extra patrol officers saturated the area on Friday and young people instead appeared on Saturday night.

Officials did not classify the fights as gang related, even though they said some criminal street gang members were present.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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bigfoot said...

I feel that teenagers 15 and under should have a adult company them.The police are doing all they can.When one of the police grab one of those gun slangers and pop them up side the head a couple of times ,the parents will scream;he just a kid,he just a kid.Remind you ,they haven't raise the brat up corretly.Like I said the police demartment are doing all they can. we as parents have to do our part also.

March 21, 2011 at 4:24 p.m.
bigbearzzz said...

They are just going to congregate some where else now. They'll find another place to meet and be stupid.

March 21, 2011 at 4:40 p.m.
hometownhero said...

The city should fine the parents (guardians) for leaving their kids unattended at coolidge.

March 21, 2011 at 8:21 p.m.

Amazing how great the law that City Council passed is working. You know the one banning guns in Collidge Park? Works really good as it creates a gun free zone for the good guys while the gang bangers prowl like predators. And those expensive cameras work wonders preventing shootings and gun play! Whats next from Littlefield and Company, a half million dollar study on what to do? Maybe more public art will soothe the savage breast. I just avoid downtown, it is not worth risking life and limb. RiverBend should be a blast, no pun intended. And those take home police cars would not have helped prevent this, as the majority of officers do not live in the City!

March 21, 2011 at 9:32 p.m.
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