Minors Need Supervision While at Chattanooga’s Coolidge

By: Shawna O’Neal

shawna-oneal@mocs.utc.edu

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. (UTC/TheLoop)-Minors will now need adult supervision when visiting Chattanooga’s Coolidge Park at night.

The hours of supervision are between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. after a 7-2 vote by the City Council Tuesday March 29.

The vote was a result of yet another shooting that took place at the park March 19.  The first shooting that occurred nearly a year ago was said to be the result of gang violence. This time around, a brawl broke out involving hundreds of teenagers that involved shots being fired.

The Chattanooga City Council met March 29 to decide whether or not to pass the new city ordinance. Councilmen Russell Gilbert and Andrae McGary were the only two opposed to going forward with the new

Coolidge Park

restrictions.

Councilman McGary said that he doesn’t support the legislation. He said that it has taken shootings for them to pass something concerning Coolidge Park.  He also stated that if the Council knows that the issue is with curfew and truancy, that the faulty legislation should be fixed before they create a new one.

“You do not plug a hole in a faulty sink by buying a new sink,” he said. “You fix the faulty plug in the sink!”

Councilman Russell Gilbert said he could not vote in favor of the new ordinance simply because there have been numerous shootings in his district and there was

Coolidge Park

never a conference to discuss them.

“It took two incidents to happen in one area and all of the sudden we need to do something,” he said. “But there are other people who have been killed in other areas and it’s like ‘one of those things’.”

Heather Sivley, a 23-year-old UTC student, was allowed to speak pertaining to the issue in front of the Council. . She thanked the Council for their involvement in making the city what it was today. But she also said that she felt they put a blanket age restriction, they would unfairly deny reasonable and responsible young people access to some of the things that makes the city of Chattanooga beautiful. She added that it also discourages them from taking part of their community on the simplest level. Click here to listen to Heather Sivley’s Speech.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, police officers are not likely to approach teenagers as long as they aren’t causing any problems.

Sources:

-Chattanooga Times Free Press

-Minutes from the meeting on March 29

Print Friendly