I for one am happy to see the new lighting in Coolidge Park and on Walnut Street Bridge. Being a North Shore Resident, I actually live next to Coolidge Park and know that dark unlit areas do not exist anymore. This article is about lights not about take home police cars, and overtime for city employees. Be supportive of taxpayer dollars being spent wisely. If you've read any other article about this area or walked through the area on a daily/nightly basis you would know that there are always officers in the park and on the bridge. I support the police presence in the park during regular 40 hour work weeks not after the officer has worked 40-50+ hours and is exhausted.
I moved to Chattanooga 1 month ago. As a new resident on Frazier Avenue I have actually heard gunshots on Walnut St. Bridge twice. Both times there was a large event in Coolidge Park. And both times there were large groups of people on the bridge after dark between 10:00pm-12:00am when the shootings occurred. I watched the groups scatter and people run away screaming. By day the illusion is Coolidge Park, Walnut St Bridge, and The North Shore Business/Residential area is safe. I am concerned and do not feel safe after dark in my own neighborhood. I moved to Chattanooga after visiting a dozen times over the last 2 years. Not once did I feel unsafe as a tourist. I appreciate the new bright LED lights that were installed under the bridge. I can tell you from walking in Coolidge Park after dark that no one gathers under the bridge or any where in the park. I regularly see bike/foot/and segway patrol officers in Coolidge Park. On event nights there are no less than six patrol cars/officers in Coolidge Park. Recently I've seen cameras being installed in Coolidge Park. I feel safe in the park but I will for now avoid the Walnut Street Bridge until I see consistent patrols on the bridge and around the entrances to the bridge. I appreciate the effort of the CPD and realize more can always be done. As residents in this community it is our obligation to notify authorities of questionable or illegal activities. Let's not turn a blind eye to this and blame a person or a department. You have a hand, raise it, You have a voice, use it. Downtown Chattanooga is a tourist economy. As residents we enjoy the entertainment options we do because of them. I love it here for that reason. I patronize the businesses in Chattanooga everyday and will continue to tout the quality of life we have here.