Chattanooga: Officials prepare detention facility for Coolidge Park ordinance violators

Chattanooga: Officials prepare detention facility for Coolidge Park ordinance violators

March 30th, 2011 by Carey O'Neil in Local - Breaking News

Chattanooga Police plan to use a portion of the South Chattanooga Recreation Center for teen holding.

Photo by Tim Barber /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.