Mayor says plan to curb city’s violence is working

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke says a plan to curb the city’s violence is working despite recent deaths and injuries that critics say prove otherwise.

Berke rolled out the city’s Violence Reduction Initiative nearly a year ago after months of study, training, discussion and meetings to decide how best to deal with rising violence.

But the Chattanooga Times Free Press ( reports that more people in Chattanooga have been killed by guns this year than last. Most recently, three people were killed and seven wounded by gunfire in just seven days.

However, while overall homicides are up by eight compared to this time last year and gang-related homicides are up by three, the mayor and authorities say gang-related shootings are down by nine.

They also say 90 people have been arrested as a result of the program.