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Press Release

Sheriff, County & City Mayors Announce Increase in Law Enforcement Presence


Hamilton County Sheriff, County and City Mayors Announce Coordinated Increase in Law Enforcement Presence in Downtown Chattanooga

Hamilton County Sheriff Austin Garrett, Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp, and Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly today announced a partnership to strengthen public safety in downtown Chattanooga by expanding the presence of law enforcement.

Following the murder of Chattanooga business leader Chris Wright, the sheriff and county mayor heard from a number of concerned business owners and citizens about safety in the downtown area, prompting Sheriff Garrett to assign deputies to support the Chattanooga Police Department.

Sheriff Garrett, Mayor Wamp along with District Attorney Coty Wamp met with Mayor Kelly and Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy on Monday morning to discuss opportunities for collaboration to ensure the safety of downtown Chattanooga. The Sheriff’s Office is committed to assisting the Chattanooga Police Department with increased patrol in the central business district, which is the regional hub of tourism and commerce.

"As Sheriff, my top priority is the overall safety and well-being of our community. Public Safety is a partnership between Law Enforcement agencies, Government bodies, and the public we serve. You can expect to see an increased presence of my deputies in and around the downtown area, and more specifically, the downtown business district as we work together to enhance safety and deter issues. We are at our best and most successful when we work together in service to our community,” stated Sheriff Austin Garrett.

“This is a time for action and the addition of Sheriff’s deputies to the downtown area represents a powerful partnership between the two premier law enforcement agencies in our region as we commit to strengthen public safety in the aftermath of Chris Wright’s murder,” said Mayor Wamp. “I commend the Sheriff for stepping in to increase the presence of law enforcement downtown so that both locals and those visiting Chattanooga feel as safe as possible."

“Every Chattanoogan deserves to feel safe: at home, at work, downtown, on the street, in our parks, at events, and throughout the community. That starts with law enforcement – and I'm grateful for the Sheriff's willingness to partner with the CPD to reinforce our shared commitment to proactive policing and enforcement strategies that seek out bad actors and get them off the street. There aren’t easy answers or one single initiative to solve violent crime, and our approach to public safety will continue to be multi-faceted, holistic, and comprehensive,” said Mayor Kelly.

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Phone: (423) 209-7000