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Staff photo by Doug Strickland Police Lt. Pedro Bacon, left, talks with Sgt. Brian Russell during a thank-you celebration honoring Lt. Bacon and Capt. Edwin McPherson on Thursday, June 25, 2015, at Eastdale Recreation Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. North Brainerd residents honored the two police officers for their work in the past 18 months to help better their community.

North Brainerd residents honored two law enforcement officers this month for decreasing crime in their community.

"I made a promise to them," Chattanooga police Capt. Edwin McPherson said. "I said, 'If you work with me, then me and my team would give 100 percent,' and it's paid off."

McPherson is the department's commander over Sector 3, which includes North Brainerd, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, Eastgate Town Center and the Interstate 75 and Interstate 24 split.

Police listed North Brainerd as a "drug offense hot spot" in the Chattanooga Gang Assessment report released in 2012, but residents say the perception of crime has decreased since then.

some text Staff photo by Doug Strickland Police Lt. Pedro Bacon, right, hugs Gloria McClendon after she gave him a card during a thank-you celebration honoring Lt. Bacon and Capt. Edwin McPherson on Thursday, June 25, 2015, at Eastdale Recreation Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. North Brainerd residents honored the two police officers for their work in the past 18 months to help better their community.

In less than a year, McPherson and Lt. Pedro Bacon shut down drug houses, arrested burglars and closed establishments that drew crime to North Brainerd, community members said. McPherson said law enforcement also called on property owners to be more responsible for activity on their properties.

McPherson and his team started working in the community in August 2014.

The North Brainerd Community Council and the Hamilton County Community Coalition celebrated law enforcement's commitment to the neighborhood this month.

"Everything the community has asked them to look into, any service we've asked them to provide, they've been there on the spot, so we want to recognize them for their support," said Robert Schreane, North Brainerd Community Council chairman.

It took fewer than 45 days after residents complained for authorities to shut down one nonprofit organization marketed to teens. Residents suspected the nonprofit, called Tunnel Vision and located across the street from Greater Second Missionary Baptist Church, was a front for an adult entertainment establishment.

Also, in less than two months, police shut down a recording studio in the 3200 block of Wilcox Boulevard after residents complained of it operating at 2 a.m. as a nightclub. Police put a surveillance car at the corner of Wilcox and Tunnel boulevards to monitor activity there.

Law enforcement used code enforcement violations and a lack of permits to shut down the establishments. Closing the studio on Wilcox Boulevard resulted in fewer reports of shots fired in that area, McPherson said.

The community gave the officers certificates of appreciation.

Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at yputman@timesfreepress.com or 757-6431.

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