A soon-to-be master's graduate, a veteran pastor, the head of a long-term counseling firm and the director of an established faith-based nonprofit all want to be the new face of Mayor Andy Berke's initiative to reduce shootings and killings.

It's been three weeks since the city ousted Richard Bennett, director of A Better Tomorrow, which until then had been expected to be chosen as community leader for the Chattanooga Violence Reduction Initiative.

Now officials are on the verge of choosing another provider.

That organization will be responsible for finding jobs, education and housing options for the gang members selected to be a part of VRI and then monitor each criminal case. The provider is expected to have at least three years' experience in this type of work.

Read more from our partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press