In early 2016, District Attorney General Neal Pinkston responded to citizen complaints about gun violence, gang activity, and crime-ridden businesses by forming a multi-jurisdictional team to combat the problems plaguing Chattanooga.
The Chattanooga Tactical All Region Gang Enforcement Team (TARGET) is a joint effort of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies working together to cut gun violence, gang-related crime, and businesses which allow criminal activity to flourish.
Gun violence has risen dramatically over the last decade, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, which collects gun crime data. In Chattanooga, gang activity accounts for a significant portion of shootings. Guns are the primary means gangs use to perpetuate violence,
TARGET provides a powerful, united front in the prevention, intervention and prosecution of gun-related crimes and gang activity in the southeast Tennessee.
TARGET's primary goal is to reduce gun violence, especially gang-related violent crimes, while cutting the numbers of illegal guns and drugs on our streets.
To accomplish that, TARGET uses a range of "Special Deterence" strategies, including:
Public Nuisance Injunctions
TARGET activity is coordinated through the Hamilton County District Attorney General's Office by retired DEA Resident Special Agent in Charge Ben Scott, who is uniquely qualified to fill this vital role.
Our Sessions Court prosecutors track gun-related cases and we work closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office for Eastern Tennessee to ensure those responsible for gun violence are given the maximum penalties possible under federal and state law.
Additionally, we have a dedicated prosecution team responsible for ensuring state cases involving gun violence received special attention.