Police Need To Be Where The Shooting Is, Not Guarding Aetna Mountain Road - And Response (3)

Monday, July 14, 2014

We want to thank Chancellor Brown for his recognizing the illegal TIF for Black Creek Mountain for what it was - illegal. There are some good folks in justice still doing their job properly, thank goodness. We will miss you as you retire, but realize there is a great replacement waiting.

However, crime and violence are off the charts in Chattanooga in certain parts of the city with the number of shooting victims nearing, or surpassing, the total of last year while several months still remain in this year that will make it "The King of Violence Year".

I am sharing a picture provided by a land owner on Aetna Mountain as he used Aetna Mountain Road this past Sunday. In it you will see a Chattanooga City Police car that sat there for hours guarding Aetna Mountain Road on Sunday for what reason? No wonder people are free to kill, rob and maim each other with less police patrol to deter such actions when they are sitting in a golf course community for hours.

Why, who and what are those in charge of these police cars and officers wasting resources in an area not prone to violence and crime?  I feel these are questions that need to be asked of the police department.

Really, think about it, why waste a police unit sitting in an upscale development for hours when people are shooting each other daily just a few miles away? Stop the "King of Violence Year" and use your police resources wisely. Enough Chattanooga city resources have already been wasted on the bogus Black Creek TIF fiasco.

Good grief, how about looking out for the citizens for a change? By the way, Mayor Berke promised to reduce crime in Chattanooga if elected. Doing stuff like this he won't. Maybe one key to lowering crime is to put the police where crime is rampant.

Joe Blevins

* * *

The facts concerning the Black Creek TIF were so riddled with pervasive conflicts of interest and secrecy a judge ruled quickly to void the taking of $9 million that belongs to the citizens of Hamilton County and Chattanooga.  I truly resent our local elected officials allowing the people they represent to be robbed in this manner. Hello, your job is to safeguard public resources.

The city attorney’s office worked way too hard advocating the developers' position, and even filed motions to allow these developers to be a party to the lawsuit, on the coat tails of taxpayer-funded attorneys. Of course, the judge would not allow this.  

What kind of government acts as an arm for private developers?

 I am left wondering how campaign donations gifted by these developers yielded so much control over our local government. It is amazing what our elected officials would do for a few hundred dollars of campaign money.  Buying favor is an interesting prospect.

 For two years, we have watched a request for $9 million pass with no deliberation from our elected officials, and a government that acts on behalf of the developers. 

 Why are the police stationed like a security guard at a gate for a golf course community?  That is a taxpayer-funded vehicle and fuel. What are they guarding - the golf T?

 I telephoned two city councilmen about these developers using taxpayer-funded police as security guards for the developers.  

 We ask and get excuses from these same elected officials that have allowed the city attorneys to file motion after motion to advocate for the developers' position.

 Just who does our city and county government work for?  Are they guns for hire?

April Eidson

* * *

Mr. Blevins, I do not speak for the police department but I can tell you that officer was off duty, just like the ones in the back of Chili's you see from time to time and the ones watching over great downtown events like Nightfall.

Many officers even work off duty for the Chattanooga Housing Authority in the projects, at and near where some of the shootings are occurring effectively doubling the police presence and response times there at half the cost to the taxpayers. I understand your assumption but it's how we make ends meet.

Logistics crisis averted.

Craig Joel

* * * 

Mr. Joel, how exactly do you know the officer Mr. Blevins referred to was off duty?  I recently saw a city police car blocking a portion of my easement along Aetna Mountain Road and called to determine if the officer was on duty.  The city's dispatch claimed they had no way of knowing whether an officer was on duty or off duty.  

My objection to officers patrolling Aetna Mountain Road comes as although I have a legal deeded easement, the development hired city police officers who block land owners from their property.  We called to have police, and even the sheriff, come out only to find out that on duty officers refuse to get involved in situations involving off duty officers.  Are you seeing a conflict of interest here?  Since the off duty officers are breaking a law by blocking my easement and what has been declared in court to be a public road.  The police are supposed to enforce the laws, not break them.  And they should not look the other way when fellow police officers are breaking the laws. 

Lastly, while these officers have said they are employed by the home owners association, and at different times by the developer, I think you need to look at tickets issued.  While some have been ticketed for riding off road vehicles on a city street, how many residents in Black Creek have been ticketed for driving golf carts that are not street legal on city streets?  I have witnessed many times Black Creek employees on John Deere Gators with no tags speeding on the city streets.  Have the police enforced the laws fairly and equally?  I think a quick look at tickets issued will answer that. 

The developer talks of “lawlessness” along this road.  If it is indeed as bad as described, why do they not warn potential home buyers of the dangers?  I could not find any warnings about a high crime rate on their website. 

Seems to me, on-duty or off-duty, the police officers are using city equipment and city resources, all courtesy of all taxpayers, not just the ones from Black Creek.  Chief Bobby Dodd's orders should have stood until the new chief took over and decided if any changes were needed instead it seems the city police "went rogue" when Chief Dodd retired. 

Jeff Perlaky

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