City takes new measures to combat recent gang violence - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

City takes new measures to combat recent gang violence

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The City of Chattanooga announced two new safety measures to combat recent gang violence Friday after a recent string of more than 10 shootings in the city.

The newly-announced programs consist of two measures: a partnership to add technology to enhance investigations and increase prosecution, and a new community coalition to "strengthen citywide efforts."

Chattanooga police have responded to the increase in gang-related violence by increasing patrols and obtaining assistance from other law enforcement agencies, such as HCSO, ATF, FBI, DEA. 

Chattanooga police say that those strengthened efforts have resulted in 23 gang members being arrested over a four-day period and the seizure of 18 illegal firearms. 

CPD has continued to seize more illegal firearms. In 2015, officers seized 754 illegal firearms which is a 25% increase in firearm seizures over 2010.

Chattanooga will expand its existing partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to expedite the acquisition of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) system. The NIBIN Program automates ballistics evaluations and provides actionable investigative leads quickly. NIBIN is the only interstate automated ballistic imaging network in operation in the United States.
 
“We know that taking guns out of the hands of criminals who want to harm people in our community is a critical step to keeping both our citizens and our officers safe. I’m proud we have dramatically increased the number of firearms our police have seized, and we are making an important investment today to build on their hard work,” said Mayor Andy Berke.

The Citizen Safety Coalition, which will be co-chaired by Bishop Kevin Adams of Olivet Baptist Church and Charles Mitchell, Vice Principal of Brainerd High School, will seek to engage people in neighborhoods and help create strong, stable relationships as well as recommend tactics for keeping young men and women out of trouble

Coalition members will be finalized in the coming days, and Mayor Berke encourages anyone interested in being involved to sign up for updates at connect.chattanooga.gov/safe.

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