Police Chief David Roddy said a surge in violence in Chattanooga since late May is mirroring that of many other cities across the country.
He said homicides and aggravated assaults here are up 17 percent and criminal shootings have risen 24 percent. At the same time, other categories or crime are about the same or trending down.
Chief Roddy said, "There are a lot of theories" about what is bringing on the violence, including the effect of the pandemic that "brings added stressors."
In a session with the City Council, he said additional guns on the streets do not seem to be a factor. He said police are confiscating guns at about the same rate as 2018 and 2019.
He said his department is seeking grants from state and federal governments "so that we will be able to react to where the violence is occurring." He said that would go for overtime pay and special patrol units.
Chief Roddy said when his department recently moved a crime camera to an area that has become more of a crime hub, those losing the camera did not want to see it go. He said those who get a camera for their neighborhood generally welcome it.
He said the cameras "are one of our best-received and most effective" crime-fighting tools.
Council members Demetrus Coonrod and Anthony Byrd, who spoke favorably of the cameras, said a central problem that remains is that members of the community do not want to be a "snitch" and will not help police solve a murder.
Councilwoman Coonrod said, "The police can't do it all on their own. If you want crime to stop in your community, you've got to report it."
She said, "People are dying all the time, and the people doing it they just don't care."
Councilman Byrd said, "People tell me that 'if you kill somebody I love, I'm going to kill somebody you love.' "
He added, "So many of these people are dying on the doorsteps of a lot of people in the community. The community is the only ones who are going to change things."