Chattanooga and its surrounding areas regularly get high marks in national magazine ratings for recreation and other quality of life attributes. Unfortunately, the city also just rated very high among national crime stats. And that is not likely to improve anytime soon.
In its latest ratings of the best places to live, U.S. News and World Report also rated the "Most Dangerous Places in the U.S. in 2023." The ratings were based on "the metro areas’ murder and property crime rates per 100,000 people, as determined by FBI crime reports."
It did not surprise me to see Memphis at the top of that list, given its generations of inept Democrat leadership.
In fact, virtually every high-crime city in American has been under Democrat mayoral and administrative "leadership" for decades. Their policies have created violent urban poverty plantations, in effect, enslaving generations of mostly black and brown citizens. It is no small irony that the racial and ethnic groups most hard hit by poverty and violence remain most beholden to those responsible for inner-city social and cultural decay.
There has been a significant surge in national violence since the so-called "Black Lives Matter" 2020 "summer of rage" riots and the "defund the police" movement. Chattanooga was also subject to that surge, in part because a handful of local "woke " businesses supported the corrupt and now-defunct BLM and defund police agendas. (Be sure to say thanks next time you walk into one of those stores.)
These agendas empowered unmitigated lawlessness, primarily in the under-30 demographic. And a politically inconvenient truth: A grossly disproportionate percentage of that violence is committed by black men against black men.
The net result of the Demo surge in violence is that Chattanooga now rates #6 in the nation for crime. NUMBER SIX. -- That is a new and notorious ranking and if it does not shock you, it should.
This is what happens when a great city elects leftist elites, and hires a police chief who is not up to the job. I believe Chief Celeste Murphy is a good person who means well, but at best, she lacks organizational skills. Making "diversity, equity and inclusion" a priority and expanding the command structure of the department, creating a top-heavy bureaucracy, does not solve Chattanooga's crime problem. Nor do absurd virtue signaling ops like taking photos in uniform with drag queens to show "unity."
To be clear, our city and county have outstanding rank and file officers. However, recent pulse surveys of city officers indicate an enormous disconnect with the command staff - on top of deep and wide-spread declining morale.
Notably, the same day that USNWR report on Chattanooga's crime rating published, the local Demo leadership rolled out their initiatives to curtail "gun violence," based on recommendations from a $250,000 consultant, Norman Kerr.
According to Deputy Chief of Staff Brooke Satterfield, "We know that gun violence is a public health crisis that threatens the health and well-being of our city. And we also know that gun violence creates a ripple effect of trauma that does not just stop with the victim."
No, crime is not a "gun problem." It is the direct result of leftist social polices which have degraded urban families and culture over the last five decades. Guns, knives and clubs don't kill people, drug thugs, gang-bangers and the rising generation of urban sociopaths kill people. But for Democrats, every problem in America is the result of diversionary clickbait labels - racism, white supremacy and guns.
Kerr provided more details about the plan's "team of violence interrupters," who will "serve as mediators to help stop shootings." He added, "They'll serve as credible messengers who are trusted by high-risk individuals. You're not going to see them standing on a corner breaking up fights with crossing guard belts on. What they're doing is a lot of behind-the-scenes conversations. If they know about about conflicts that are escalating, they're going to try to mitigate that through their relationships." (Sounds kind of like New York's "Guardian Angels" model in the 1980s.)
Deputy Chief Satterfield said: "We know that mentorship is one of the most effective strategies for reducing violence because it increases the factors that protect against it, such as staying in school. This new mentorship portal will essentially provide a central location for anyone looking to become a mentor to young people."
Executive Chief Glenn Scruggs concluded, "The focus will not be on citations or to make arrests. It's to make all Chattanooga enjoyable, whether it's citizens or tourists." Well, OK, that's nice.
So, to this plan's credit, it envisions a mentoring process to impact culture in such a way as reduce violence. And as aforementioned, violence is, first and foremost, a culture problem. We all hope this will make a dent in the social/cultural degradation in our city, but bottom-up policies will only work in conjunction with top-down policies that don't perpetuate the systemic issues creating violence.
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Chattanooga's crime problem, as much of the nation, has very little to nothing to do with whether the city has a Democrat or Republican in office. As I recall three or four of the more gruesome and hideous familicides in the Hamilton County/Chattanooga area took place under a city Republican mayor. But all barely made national news, and only briefly remained in local news. Internationally was basically zero.
Crimes of all kinds have the tendency to ebb and flow without regards to who is in office or running a city, county or parrish at any given time.
Then there's the manipulation of crime when one side wants the other side out, or to make way for development aka gentrification under the guise of revitalization, or when one group doesn't feel others fit their decor, or the fear too many of a certain group might invade and settle in their special space, their Eden.
I personally witnessed this decades ago when there was a rash of reports of burglaries, break-ins, and acts of vandalism in the community I'd lived for decades. The thing is, as one detective sent out to investigate stated, the majority of the burglaries, break-ins, etc. appeared to be "inside jobs." His words, not mine. Please pay attention to the words "inside jobs." When the truth was about to be exposed, those involved tried to place blame on a mentally ill neighbor whose family had lived in the community for decades. Already having a criminal record, that poor fellow would have likely been sent to prison for decades, maybe even life. During that time, that three strikes had become a battle cry for "taking a bite out of crime!"
See wars aren't won by the actual invasion and occupation. Long before any war becomes official, there's the unofficial taking place behind the scenes. Destabilizing, creating as much chaos, mayhem and divisions as possible, in order to weaken resolve. As long as the people are busy fighting one another, they can't know the cold/calculated hands manipulating and controlling at play.