Mayor Andy Berke lays out plan to combat crime - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Mayor Andy Berke lays out plan to combat crime

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke's plan to combat crime will be a joint effort.

He's calling on county and state leaders to help reduce crime in the city.

Berke has met with citizens, elected officials, and local law enforcement agencies to formulate this plan. He calls it a homegrown effort: one that is tailored to Chattanooga.

"Crime knows no boundaries. We know that the problems we have in the inner city effect the suburbs and what happens in the suburbs also effects us here. As we look at how to best address these needs we want a comprehensive plan that effects all parts of our community," says Berke.

The first phase of that plan will include the creation of a public safety council to address policing, prosecution, punishment and prevention.

The mayor will lead the group which will consist of county Mayor Jim Coppinger, the U.S. attorney, district attorney, Sheriff Jim Hammond, and Police Chief Bobby Dodd -- who we learned today will remain in the chief position.

"We know that we're moving more into a cosmopolitan community, and I think you need to bring together at the table the players that can help protect this community's citizens," says Hammond.

A crimescore card will be available online for citizens to report crime and track crime.

And the third element -- what Berke calls an "exhaustive study" of the Chattanooga Police Department.

"Well our police do a great job of doing what we ask them to do. This management study will help us figure out best practices so that we're asking them to do the right things," says Berke. 

Berke says that study will take a few months to conduct, with results coming later.

Channel 3 did ask if this is a first step toward joining the county and city efforts into a metro government. Berke said no. He says this is about getting a handle on Chattanooga's crime.

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