Newly elected officials speak out about rash of shootings - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Newly elected officials speak out about rash of shootings

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB)  --  A rash of gun violence in the city has residents nervous and newly elected city officials formulating plans to reduce the crime problem.

"It's getting to the point where I'm ready to just move out of this city," says resident Shawn Roberts.

Roberts lives just down the road from one of three shootings in Chattanooga Thursday evening.

"Shootings everyday. It is getting outrageous," Roberts says.

Bullets riddled a home on Tennessee Avenue later that evening and on Brainerd Road, a man was gunned down and left for dead, the victim would survive.

Crime is a problem many residents say jobs and family units will fix.

"Morals, it starts with morals in the household, the family. You got to be as a whole, as one. You got to be there for your family, your children," explains Roberts.  

Two of the shootings occurred in Councilman-elect Chris Anderson's district. He echoes Roberts' concerns.

"The crime problem is not just more police officers on the street or stiffer punishments for crime, but it's also community support for families and kids," Anderson says.

He has more than one plan to bring down the crime rate.

"Bring more jobs to the communities that don't have them or connect people to the jobs through additional public transportation options," says Anderson.

"We got to make sure the community gets involved, and we all pitch in to help our crime issues," Chattanooga Mayor-elect Andy Berke says.

Berke will use a public forum next week to help him decide what to do.

"I'm going to listen to people and make sure we are supporting our officers, finding the best strategies for law enforcement and reducing the amount of crime in our city," says Berke.

In neighborhoods like Roberts', help couldn't come soon enough.

"No mentors, there's like no kind of centers or nothing like that, nothing for nobody to do," Roberts says.  

"Help is on the way," says Anderson.  

Berke will host a public safety forum from 5 to 7 p.m. on March 21, at Tennessee Temple University.

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