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City of Chattanooga keeping youth from gangs 'piece by piece'

November 2nd, 2011 11:11 am by Cliff Hightower

City of Chattanooga keeping youth from gangs 'piece by piece'

CHATANOOGA — Twelve-year-old Darrion Robinson hung around the South Chattanooga Recreation Center, dodging in between the basketball gym and the recording studio.

The Lookout Valley Middle School student said he doesn't see many gang members around his school, but he knows to stay away from them.

"My Momma said they will kill you," he said, his voice rising. "She said you fight over [gang] colors, it will kill you."

Darrion and other youth like him are exactly who Chattanooga Parks and Recreation Department employees are trying to keep out of gangs. This year, even in the midst of a hard budget year, the Chattanooga City Council put $280,000 into a pot for Parks and Recreation to help create a Youth Development Division. A sub-department of the division is trying to help keep kids off the streets and out of gangs.

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