published Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Chattanooga: Officials prepare detention facility for Coolidge Park ordinance violators

Chattanooga Police plan to use a portion of the South Chattanooga Recreation Center for teen holding.
Chattanooga Police plan to use a portion of the South Chattanooga Recreation Center for teen holding.
Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Several city officials discussed progress on renovations to the old police precinct next to the South Chattanooga Recreation Center in St. Elmo where minors who violate the new Coolidge Park curfew ordinance will be detained.

Several area residents called the detention a reasonable idea.

“They have to put them somewhere, and this used to be a police station so what better place?” said Jim Williams, who regularly uses the recreation center’s pool. “It’s there, so I don’t see any harm in it.”

Renovations will cost between $5,000 and $6,000 and should be finished by the end of next week, officials said.

However, some residents said the money could be used better elsewhere.

“Why open up a new building and spend the $6,000 when you can take them [minors] to a facility that already exists?” said RoseMary Porter, president of the Villages at Alton Park Neighborhood Watch and chairwoman of the area’s Leadership Advisory Council.

Porter said ordinance violators should be taken to the police service center or juvenile court while they wait for their parents.

“Why would they even think to put a detention center right next to a recreation center?” she said.

Contact Carey O’Neil at coneil@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525.

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sangaree said...

People were trying to force the mayor's hand one way or the other. Now this is what you get. I can't say I blame the mayor for being forced to come up with something. My concern is why do we insist on putting younger and younger people in cages? This a tragic decision we will all come to regret.

March 30, 2011 at 3:01 p.m.
frumpster65 said...

This seems to be a reasonable resolution to the problem. Sangaree? As for the children being put in cages...They are placing them selves there by not following the RULES. Each person is responsible for thier own actions and choices.

March 30, 2011 at 4:26 p.m.
sangaree said...

I can't help but wonder if a lot of these happenings were staged, even sending a few select into the park to create a ruckus, just so to force the mayor to come up with funds for certain projects, and it backfired.

March 30, 2011 at 5:12 p.m.
dave said...

Perhaps the parents of the children who are there without an escort should be jailed instead...then I bet they would KNOW where their children were.

March 30, 2011 at 8:50 p.m.
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