Tennessee Targeted Community Crime Reduction Grant community partners met at Bradley County Juvenile Court this week as part of their continued efforts to improve the community and reduce crime.
At the recent meeting, members decided to pick an area of Cleveland to focus further strategies.
Bradley County Juvenile Court director Terry Gallaher said the group wants to partner with residents and businesses in the Blythe Avenue area.
“We are also looking for feedback in section one and two from the businesses and the people there,” Gallaher said.
The actual grant funding ended in June 2013. However, the community partners who participated have continued to work together toward the goal of reducing crime and addressing gang-related issues.
The grant provided funding to the Boys & Girls Clubs, Behavioral Research Institute, Bradley County Juvenile Courts and the city of Cleveland, as well as for two police officers and a patrol car.
He said juvenile court is also working to provide more support to the families it serves.
“We are seeing more graffiti. We are seeing more kids with gang tattoos,” Gallaher said.
The Cleveland Police Department will be starting a trial run of use of technology and mapping made possible through the Crime Reduction Grant. The system will alert officers if a known gang member lives at an address they are heading to.
An issue that the Crime Reduction group is also looking into is Chattanooga residents renting houses in Cleveland for a week at a time to compete illegal drug sales in the area.
Also during the meeting, Cleveland Police Department Captain Dennis Maddox presented information about a recent District Attorney Family Justice Center grant meeting that he attended. Having a Family Justice Center for the 10th Judicial District was discussed. However, since this is an election year for the district attorney, Cleveland will have to wait until the next District Attorney is in office to pursue grant funding to establish the center. The city would not be able to apply for grant funding until next year.
Maddox said the grant would give $240,000 over three years to establish a center where the criminal justice arm and services arm of helping domestic assault victims are in one location. Maddox said this keeps victims from having to travel for services or to secure an order of protection.