Exactly who is chief Dodd demanding jobs for in Saturday's gang story? Alstom, Volkswagen and Amazon are employing those that have chosen to work and deserve the jobs that they have.
To blast local corporations for not being good corporate citizens is ridiculous. The chief should apologize publicly to the companies he named in the article for his comments.
James Blevins Jr
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Chief Bobby Dodd's demand that Chattanooga's finest companies provide jobs for the city's leading gang members is mind-numbing.
HR genius that he is, perhaps Chief Dodd should demonstrate the process, insist the police department or city hire them, and let's see how they work out. Only then can he, with any degree of credibility, preach to local business as to the viability of these thugs as employees.
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Personally I don’t believe Chief Dodd needs to apologize to anyone. While he may have singled out several large businesses in the Chattanooga area, I believe his comments were directed towards the private sector in general. All too often the community as a whole looks to law enforcement to solve society’s woes. Just in case nobody knows, the majority of what law enforcement does is reactive. Cops don’t have the ability to make fathers responsible and we are not the conscience of a young female about to make a poor decision.
How about giving Chief Dodd some credit for at least being at the table? He and every officer working under him is there on the front lines 24 hours a day, seven days a week, three 365 days a year. They are there day or night, hot or cold in the sun or in the rain. I’ll enjoy reading the part of the gang survey that speaks to “Law Enforcement doesn’t keep accurate statistics about gangs.” The records they do have are certainly better than anything the mayor’s office, UTC or some bean counting nonprofit has.
I wonder how well the bean counters would do if they were going from crime scene to crime scene to crime scene? Maybe their records don’t measure up to the high standards set by those that formulate statistics from the safety of offices with high-backed leather chairs, but I can assure you they do keep good records.
Now that we know that law enforcement is there where are the other players? You know, the mayor’s office, Churches, private industry and who could forget our elected officials. It’s good PR when you’re out on the campaign trail to pretend that you care about at risk youth and the inner city, but after the ballots are cast it seems like the winner does his/her impression of The Invisible Man. How about those churches? A little PR work might be good when the cameras and news reporters are present, might even attract a new parishioner or two, but does the Lord’s work extend much past that? If their efforts don’t transition to putting something into the collection plate I’d say it’s doubtful. Btw, is anyone from local government trying to identify local businesses that might be willing to give an at risk kid a job? “Not holding my breath.” Don't get me wrong. I'm sure the the high brows on the North Shore would be all for it, until the first african american kid, with their hair in cornrows shows up for their first day on the job. "We were wanting to help, but uh."
Granted, we don’t expect local businesses to just hand out checks to young kids that don’t do anything. We already have a federal government that does that quite well. Rather than criticize Chief Dodd for his comments why don’t you criticize those that have remained silent.
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He does owe them an apology. We can demand nothing of a private business. We all, especially business owners, need to give people who want to work that opportunity.
A program might be worked out with businesses, to get jobs for selected persons who have shown interest in leaving crime. But demanding jobs for gang people is outrageous.
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In my 20-plus years of law enforcement I have yet to see a more dedicated chief than Bobby Dodd. Chief Dodd has brought the gang problem to the forefront unlike previous administrations who have attempted to cover up and deny that there was even a gang problem at all.
Chief Dodd has backed his officers in the fight against gangs all while attempting to work with the city and county governments to bring about change.
Like Mr. Merritt I don’t think the chief owes anyone an apology for stating the truth and trying to get the community involved in what is a community problem.
Punish those who need it and help those who want help getting out of or are attempting to stay out of the gangs. If that entails giving some jobs, then so be it.
Chief Bobby Dodd, keep up the good work.
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We shouldn’t be “giving” anyone a job. We should be giving everyone the opportunity to apply for a job and, if they have no qualifications, or inadequate qualifications, we should be easing the way for them to access training programs, including a basic program designed to result in the award of their GED (General Educational Development) diploma.
Give them a hand up, not a handout. If they really want a job, they will jump at the chance for the prerequisite personal development opportunity.
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Chief Dodd's remarks were unbecoming a city official, much less a police chief. I agree that he should either apologize (the classy thing to do) or put his money where his mouth is and employ the gang bangers he expects everyone else to hire.
I predict he'll stay the course and insert the rest of his leg in his mouth.
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First of all, I’m not sure where Mr. Blevins got his facts from, but I never blasted anyone for “not being a good corporate citizen”. The comments I made during the meeting, that by the way is open to the public, were in regards to the gang assessment and our collective plans going forward with the new information. I said the assessment verified or confirmed what a lot of us already knew and now that we have official data showing this, we should as a city, or a sanctioned taskforce of the city, demand all stakeholders (citizens/private sector agencies/ public sector agencies/non-profit organizations/ churches/ law enforcement/ politicians/neighborhood groups) be at the table while we are trying to resolve a problem that most should be interested in solving.
I reiterated the analogy I used a year or so back that we are like a baseball team with only three or fourplayers on the team versus the nine members we actually need to be successful. There was continued discussion about a jobs project that we have discussed many times over the past year and I made the comment that we have to demand job opportunities for people that put forth the effort to gain employment. I mentioned several big employers in town and said with that type of employment power in this city there is no way we couldn’t create an employment opportunity for 75-100 people that want to exit gang life and start being a productive citizen. I never made any disparaging remarks about any employers in this city, to the contrary, I said with their help and their resources to employ 20 – 25 people each in a jobs program, we should be able to offer a new opportunity to any of the 75-100 hardcore gang members/repeat offenders that wish to earn that opportunity.
Bobby H. Dodd
Chief of Police