published Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Chattanooga mayor asks for money to address gang problem

by Cliff Hightower

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield said today he plans to hire two new staff members to head an initiative to address gang violence.

He asked the City Council to redirect $75,000 set aside for minority business development and use it for a study on gangs in the city.

“We’ve addressed the problem systematically and what we need to do is go farther,” Littlefield told the council.

The mayor addressed the council today during the Legal, Legislative and Public Safety committee.

The mayor said the salaries for the two staff members would be between $70,000 to $90,000 a year each. He said the administration was still trying to nail down the pay.

Boyd Patterson, a Hamilton County assistant district attorney, will be the coordinator for the initiative, and Fred Houser, a detention officer in Davidson County, would be the assistant coordinator.

Littlefield said the two would start tomorrow.

He asked the council to approve redirecting the $75,000 for a study on gangs to be conducted by the Ochs Center and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Social Sciences Department.

For more information, read tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

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