Houser: Gang survey will guide long-term plan - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Houser: Gang survey will guide long-term plan

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Fred Houser is the assistant coordinator for Chattanooga's newly formed gang task force. / WRCB-TV Fred Houser is the assistant coordinator for Chattanooga's newly formed gang task force. / WRCB-TV

(WRCB) - Mayor Littlefield's plans to conduct a gang study are on hold for now after the City Council decided not to redirect funds earmarked for the Multicultural Chamber and the Urban League.

But one of the two men in charge of helping solve the gang problem says he doesn't expect that to be a major issue as they get started.

Fred Houser says "there's enough data available now for us to do what we need to do in the short term."

Houser and Boyd Patterson were recently appointed by the mayor to turn things around.  He stopped by Eyewitness News to give us some insight on what needs to be done. 

Mr. Houser told us that he had to be sure the city was willing to make a strong commitment before he took on this challenge.

"I would really consider this job if I knew Chattanooga was willing to pull out all the stops.  So we asked what does that mean? What do you need the people in this city to do to change what's going on?  He said "The first thing is what we are doing now in terms of comprehensive gang task force model," Houser said.

That means outreach and community participation. 

He went on to say they have to look at short, medium and long term goals.  That means from building a base to putting together a job initiative to give young people jobs by working with the Urban League and the Multicultural Chamber. 

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