Violence Prevention Pilot Launches in Chattanooga

A new pilot program aims to engage youth and ensure safety in downtown Chattanooga.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly has announced the launch of a new pilot program aimed at fostering a safe and engaging environment for young people in downtown Chattanooga during selected weekends throughout the summer of 2024. This initiative will commence over Memorial Day Weekend.

The program is a collaborative effort between the Chattanooga Police Department, 423 Chain Breakers, and the Downtown Chattanooga Alliance.

The 423 Chainbreakers are recognized for their efforts in connecting with young individuals to prevent violence and criminal behavior. Their successful initiatives have primarily been concentrated in Chattanooga’s Avondale/Bushtown area.

As part of the pilot program, members of the 423 Chainbreakers will engage with youth downtown on select weekend nights from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. This presence will complement the increased police patrols in the area.

“The hardworking men and women of CPD do an excellent job enforcing the law in Chattanooga, and have worked hard to build deep relationships with our community. But in addition to arresting people after a crime is committed, we need to reach people before they turn to criminal activity,” said Mayor Tim Kelly. “The 423 Chainbreakers’ work in other parts of Chattanooga has made a real difference, and we’re excited that they’ll be coming to downtown.”

Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy added, “The Chattanooga Police Department is eager to collaborate with community visionaries to ensure positive youth engagement and create a safe and inclusive environment for all Chattanoogans. This collaboration with the 423 Chainbreakers and the Downtown Alliance will be the first step to an enriching summer for all.”

Steve Brookes, Executive Director of the Downtown Chattanooga Alliance, expressed his support, stating, “I’m incredibly pleased the 423 Chain Breakers will be working Memorial Day weekend in our downtown district. The Chainbreakers are engaging consistently with city youth in multiple locations, and having them downtown to offer peer-to-peer support makes a difference. This is exactly the kind of partnership we need to support these youth and align with Mayor Kelly’s One Chattanooga vision.”

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