Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke shared details on Friday on the initial components of his comprehensive public safety plan, designed to reduce crime in Chattanooga. After a public safety forum in March and numerous meetings with community members on related issues, Mayor Berke and his team spent several weeks developing a strategy to reduce crime in the city.
“Public safety is my number one priority,” said Mayor Berke. “We must reduce crime and make our streets safer. And we will do that by implementing innovative initiatives and new approaches that have proven to be successful in other cities. We have looked at these tactics and incorporated them into the development of a comprehensive public safety plan, designed to make Chattanooga safer.”
Mayor Berke announced Friday that his team is ready to begin to implement the first three components of his plan and that he has asked Bobby Dodd to continue serving as Chief of Police. “I have had numerous conversations with Chief Dodd over the last several weeks,” said Mayor Berke. “I appreciate his dedication and experience in law enforcement and have asked him to continue to serve as Chief of Police.”
Today, Mayor Berke announced three individuals who will join his team. Lurone Jennings will lead Youth and Family Development, Blythe Bailey will lead Transportation, and James McKissic will lead the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
Mayor Berke made his announcement as he and his staff, including the three new members, toured The Bethlehem Center in Alton Park.
“We are putting the best people in place to make a real difference for our citizens,” said Mayor Berke. “I know they will wake up every day, thinking about how to work together to address the issues that matter most to our community while providing effective and efficient services at the best value for our citizens.”
Mayor Berke went on to explain how each individual’s experience and leadership will work together to implement his vision for Chattanooga.
“As Administrator of Youth and Family Development, Lurone brings decades of experience and he understands the importance of young people having the opportunities to grow and achieve,” said Mayor Berke. “He has done tremendous work throughout his career and I know he will make my vision for our youth become a reality.”
“Our city’s infrastructure provides a connection between successful businesses and healthy, safe neighborhoods. Whether traveling by car, bike, bus or foot, transportation connects us to each other and to our community,” said Mayor Berke. “As Administrator of Transportation, Blythe understands that people on the west side of town can only have opportunities on the east side if our city’s transportation needs are met.”
“As Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, James will make sure that our city is an inclusive community where opportunities exist for everyone. He will look at the functions of this office with new eyes and ensure the best services to our community,” said Mayor Berke.
On Tuesday, Chattanooga’s City Council unanimously voted to approve Berke’s plan to reorient the structure of city government to focus on the issues that matter most to the community.
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