FIRST ON 3: Mayor appoints anti-gang czars - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

FIRST ON 3: Mayor appoints anti-gang czars

Patterson (left) and Houser (right) have been appointed to develop Chattanooga's comprehensive gang initiative. Patterson (left) and Houser (right) have been appointed to develop Chattanooga's comprehensive gang initiative.

(WRCB) – Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield has named to two men to lead an anti-gang outfit, based on a Chicago program.

At Tuesday's city council meeting, Mayor Littlefield said Boyd Patterson from the District Attorney's Office and Fred Houser, an ordained minister, have been appointed to tackle Chattanooga's gang problem full time.

Under Patterson and Houser, Mayor Littlefield says the city will implement the Comprehensive Gang Model used by major cities across the country.

Boyd Patterson will serve as coordinator for the comprehensive gang program.

Patterson is a Special Prosecution Assistant in the District Attorney's Office, focusing on prosecuting gang members. He was responsible for developing Chattanooga's Master Gang List, identifying gang member in the city. He also developed programs to match known gang members to court docket sand the probation lists.

Fred Houser will serve as assistant coordinator for the program.

Houser most recently served as a counselor at the Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center, helping young offenders rehabilitate. He also served in several civic positions in Chattanooga including as the Director of Chattanooga's Inner City Development Corporation from 1992-1995, and Director of Chattanooga Venture from 1989-1992.

Both Patterson and Houser will report to the Mayor's Office, City Council and the community.

The Comprehensive Gang Model was developed by the University of Chicago in 1993 to combat rising gang violence in the Windy City.

The mayor said Chicago experienced success with reducing gang violence using the model.

By 1995, the model was adopted by the Department of Justice.

The Comprehensive Gang Model is based on five points: 1) Community mobilization 2) Opportunity (real education and employment opportunities) 3) Intervention 4) Suppression 5) Organizational change (perpetual attention by city agencies).

Mayor Littlefield says his office will fund the operation through 2012, but has told the City Council to expect a significant funding request in next year's budget.

The first step in the comprehensive gang model is to conduct an assessment of the gang problem within the city.

The mayor has requested the assessment be conducted by the Ochs Center and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  That assessment would cost upwards of $75,000.

According to the Department of Justice, that assessment can take anywhere from three months to a year, depending on the availability of data.

Powered by Frankly