CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – For the first time the Chattanooga Police Department was chosen for a $700,000 Crime Gun Intelligence Center grant.
“There’s so many people affected by it, from, you know, the neighbor down the street to even the police officers to medical. So there’s so much damage that is done by gun violence, and we want to do our best to knock that down as much. We’re not foolish, We know we’re not going to get down to zero, but we’re going to try,” Chattanooga Police Sgt. Josh May said.
From 2015 to 2019, the department saw an increase in homicides per 100,000 residents and saw a decrease in non-fatal shootings.
Sgt. Josh May described 2020 as an “anomaly.”
Shootings jumped from 2019 to 2020 while the number of homicides stayed the same.
“Still, for a city our size, we need to be doing better. We shouldn’t have the numbers that we have and once again, this takes more than just the police department,” Sgt. May said
Since 2015, Chattanooga Police created a Crime Analysis Unit, a Real Time Intelligence Center and Gun Team to help them stop gun violence.
The grant will help them do more.
“We’re going to plan on leveraging a lot of our investigative techniques, just more items and stuff that aren’t in our general budget that we can purchase items with. We also entered into an agreement with research partners. We want to make sure that we’re actually getting quantifiable data out there to see what works and what does not work over the three years span,” Sgt. May said.
The grant is for three years.
They hope to start getting the funds in April.