Kelly Administration and CPD Partner with 423 Chainbreakers, Downtown Chattanooga Alliance on Violence Prevention Pilot Program

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Members of the 423 ChainBreakers. Photo by Camm Ashford
The Downtown Chattanooga Alliance team of ambassadors work to keep the downtown area clean, welcoming and safe.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly last Friday announced that Memorial Day Weekend will mark the launch of a new pilot program designed to positively engage young people and encourage a safe environment in downtown Chattanooga on selected weekends throughout the 2024 summer.

The program is a collaboration between the Chattanooga Police Department, 423 ChainBreakers, and the Downtown Chattanooga Alliance.

The 423 Chainbreakers work to connect directly with young Chattanoogans to build relationships and steer them away from violence and criminal activity. To this point, their work has mainly been focused in the Avondale/Bushtown area, where they’ve seen significant success.

In the pilot program, members of the 423 Chainbreakers will spend time downtown on select weekend nights from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., focusing in areas where young people often congregate. Their presence will be in addition to increased police patrols downtown.

“The hardworking men and women of CPD do an excellent job enforcing the law in Chattanooga and have worked hard to build deep relationships with our community. But in addition to arresting people after a crime is committed, we need to reach people before they turn to criminal activity,” said Mayor Kelly.  “The 423 Chainbreakers’ work in other parts of Chattanooga has made a real difference, and we’re excited that they’ll be coming to downtown.”

“The Chattanooga Police Department is eager to collaborate with community visionaries to ensure positive youth engagement and create a safe and inclusive environment for all Chattanoogans,” said Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy. “This collaboration with the 423 Chainbreakers and the Downtown Alliance will be the first step to an enriching summer for all.” “I’m incredibly pleased the 423 Chain Breakers will be working Memorial Day weekend in our downtown district. The Chainbreakers are engaging consistently with city youth in multiple locations, and having them downtown to offer peer-to-peer support makes a difference,” said Downtown Chattanooga Alliance Executive Director Steve Brookes. “This is exactly the kind of partnership we need to support these youth and align with Mayor Kelly’s One Chattanooga vision.”