A Chattanooga police officer spends his time in a familiar place every day. He protects the streets he grew up on and he says the common ground helps build trust in the community.
Lt, Glenn Scruggs started his career in law enforcement 23 years ago, but his love for Chattanooga started much earlier in Avondale. Now, he's using his roots to help him on the job.
Sometimes it just takes a different perspective. A different view. This is Avondale. For one officer, his heart is here.
And here, three miles away -- in a sprawling two-story concrete complex -- most people will never visit.
Inside CPDheadquarters is Chattanooga's major crimes unit-- it's where the best of Chattanooga's finest handle the city's worst cases.
This book shows most of those cases, involve a gun and it's the job of people like Lt. Glenn Scruggs to figure out who did it and why crime can be personal and so can solving it.
"My roots are in Avondale, east Chattanooga, Avondale these are my roots. And I love this neighborhood," said Scruggs.
The wake-up call in the middle of the night often sends this 23-year department veteran to the same streets he walked as a child. Of the 110-shootings this year, 36-percent happened in the East Chattanooga Zone.
"It's nothing for me to go to a scene and I'm dealing with the son of a guy that I play ball with in school or a guy that I hung out with in school that's a common place," said Scruggs. That common ground builds trust. He knows their stories. He hopes for better endings.
"When guys see me and I deal with people they know I'm from down here. They know that I've walked in the same shoes that they walked in and heck, to a degree still walking in them," said Scruggs.
Sprinkled along Glass Street is where Scruggs finds his best memories.
"I cashed my very first paycheck right here at Sandy's I mean these folks have always been here for this community in this community has always been here for these folks," said Scruggs.
But far too often, it's also a place where moms, dads, sisters weep behind the crime scene tape and police lights. At the end of every street is the choice to turn and Scruggs knows every day offers choice. He made his.
"That's probably one of the biggest turning points of my whole dog-gone life, when my buddy got me to apply to the Chattanooga Police Department," said Scruggs.
Lt. Scruggs isn't the only officer from our area actually, most of the department is from Chattanooga or the surrounding areas.