Chattanooga City Council has agreed to hire Trajectory Changing Solutions with a $250,000 one-year contract. The consultant will work with the Chattanooga Police Department to help stop the cycle of violence within our community.
The city had two mass shootings in the summer of 2022. The first shooting injured six teens in May on Market Street. The second was in June on McCallie Avenue right outside a bar. Three people were killed and 14 others shot.
These high profiles shootings led Mayor Tim Kelly to release an initiative to end gun violence in July. Kirsten Yates, Senior Advisor for Communication and Digital Strategy for the city says, they've started increasing youth engagement through outreach activities during school breaks for prevention.
"The Chattanooga Police Department, has been hard at work on the intervention side," said Yates.
According to their website TCS is an Illinois based consulting firm specializing in violence prevention and reduction strategies.
"The consultant we brought on board, has a proven track record of doing this work in other communities, but of course as is with any job, they're going to come in and learn from the groups about what they're already doing, what's been working, what hasn't been working."
She said they will work with the police department to roll out an intervention strategy.
"Which is really analyzing recent crimes, and data to understand who is actually at highest risk for gun violence," explained Yates.
The goal is to work with those at highest risk and provide services besides enforcement to stop the cycle of violence.
This month the Chattanooga Police Department released their yearly breakdown showcasing a 24% decline in homicides from 2021 to 2022.
Yates said that's a promising sign that we're heading in the right direction and the consultant will help to further reduce gun violence.
"At the end of the day, the Roadmap to End Gun Violence is about just that, it's about stopping the violence that's been occurring on our streets."
Yates said the contract outlines that the consultant will work here in the city at least 6 days every month. Right now, she said the details are still being worked out of when that will start and who they will meet with.