(WRCB) -  The Mayor's Office has begun soliciting for an organization to conduct its Comprehensive Gang Program Assessment.

The Mayor's Gang Task Force placed a Request for Qualifications (RFQ)seeking a group to conduct the survey. The request is giving us a better idea of what the assessment will entail and a first glimpse at a timeline for the initiative.

According to the RFQ, the city is looking for a "Research Partner" to gather information that will be used to implement the Comprehensive Gang Model, introduced to the city earlier this month.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Ochs Center for Metropolitan Study are considered as front-runners to for the position, but proposals will be accepted from any qualified organization.

"In order to effectively implement the CGM, a thorough understanding of the nature, scope, and dynamics of the problem is required. This assessment should result in helping the Gang Task Force and the Steering Committee in understanding who is involved in gang crime and where in the community it is concentrated. The assessment, along with other data and information, will enable targeting of community/neighborhood/law enforcement resources at those areas and at populations where gang crime occurs," the RFQ states.

The RFQ also includes a list of information the City hopes to gather as part of the Assessment:

Identify all existing data sources to aid in the assessment of gang issues and resources and reduce ongoing assessment costs.

Identify the most serious and prevalent gang-related problems.

Determine potential factors contributing to gang problems.

Identify target group(s) for prevention, intervention, and suppression efforts.

Shape community mobilization efforts and identify community members who should be involved.

Identify various organizational or systems issues that must be addressed to have a long-term effect on the problem.

Identify current efforts to address gangs and gang-involved youth.

The assessment will be based on a model developed by the Department of Justice's National Gang Center. [View National Assessment model (.pdf)]

The RFQ also is giving us our first idea of the timetable the City has for launching the new counter-gang initiative.

According to the request, a research firm is expected to be selected by mid-February, with a final draft of the assessment submitted by August 1, 2012.

Mayor Ron Littlefield told members of the City Council the Assessment is expected cost the city around $75,000.

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