New statistics released on Chattanooga violence

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CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – New statistics released by the Chattanooga police department shows that shootings and homicides are on the decline.

According to the latest numbers within a past five months, shootings have decreased by 23-percent compared to this time last year.

Gang related violence has also seen a declined by 24-percent.

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So far this year, there have been four homicides compared to six homicides the same time last year. Police Chief Fred Fletcher told WDEF that everyone involved in the Violence Reduction Initiative or VRI has been analyzing numbers for the past three years.

"So if you were to compare 2015 to 2013, we’ve seen a 41-percent decrease in homicides, shootings and shooting related incidents," Fletcher said.

The Chief wanted to make it clear that the number of violent incidents are recorded for focused deterrence efforts. But WDEF wanted to know what’s actually being tracked.

"All murders. All shootings and every time a bullet strikes person other than an intentional suicide," Fletcher said.

Chattanooga city councilman Yusuf Hakeem said there may be two ways to look at the numbers

"The numbers look good but at the same time the people who are affected by the shootings don’t feel the decrease. What I’m getting from the community is that they don’t feel a part of the process; we’re being told what’s good for us as opposed to us having input in the process," Hakeem said.

Chief Fletcher disputes that claim.

"Almost everything we do in outreach to the community through our community police response to victim and violence or custom notifications involves community involvement," Fletcher said.

If anyone wants to be involved in the Violence Reduction Initiative, they are urged to call 643-7800.