Grant builds Gang Unit
SCOTT BRODEN (Tennessean) | December 20, 2010
Using a $1.2 million federal grant, the Murfreesboro Police Department will soon launch a four-member Gang Unit and educational initiative to prevent children from joining gangs.
Police Chief Glenn Chrisman said the money will allow the police department to add four sworn officer positions for three years to a force of 223. Council members endorsed the plan last week.
The unit will be led by a sergeant, and the team will focus on identifying gang leaders and collecting evidence that can be used in federal courts to prosecute them without chance of parole or early release, Chrisman said.
Funding will also provide the Guidance Center with a staff member to work with children referred to them by Youth Services and the Juvenile Court to keep minors from being repeat offenders, the police chief added.
Chrisman gave credit to city grant writer Karen Claud Lampert, a former Murfreesboro resident who served as a coordinator of the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of Rutherford County before moving to California.
Another component of the money is for training and curriculum for Officers Jason Low and Tim Jensen to teach fourth-graders at four city elementary schools: Hobgood, Bradley, Mitchell-Neilson and Northfield.
“It gives them positive role models,” Low said.