- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Chattanooga police say they’ll use $600,000 in grant money to hire social workers to help officers support crime victims.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports (https://bit.ly/1Kw4Pt7 ) the department will use three grants to employ the social workers who will respond to calls and help victims through the trauma of a crime.

Police Chief Fred Fletcher says he hopes the hires will push the department to become more “victim-centered.” He says he hopes that officers who work with social workers will begin to see new ways to approach and treat victims.

Fletcher says the first two social workers hired will focus on victims of gang-related violence. Another two social workers or counselors may be hired to create a training program for officers.

Fletcher hopes to begin the hiring process in January.

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