The county has a population of 364,286 souls. Chattanooga has a population of just under 180,000 men, women and children.
A review of gross numbers is in order, because the people have largely heeded executive orders to shut down their businesses, stay home and enter a dark period of government official-ordered financial default, job less, poverty, hunger and idleness.
A survey by the Chamber of Commerce and MetLife indicates nearly half of 30 million small businesses in the country face permanent shutdown within 14 days absent either a return to open free markets or cash infusions from government or lenders.
But there is a limit to this compliance. Obedience to government, compliance with laws and edicts is a form of social capital that government stewards so that it might continue its commercial and enforcement operations with the least friction and expense. Will public servants use this capital wisely, or waste it to the point where, among the people, there is none left, with revolt the only recourse?
The Hamilton County sheriff’s office has 140 officers. The Chattanooga police department has 500. This total of 640 is the sum of the major departments here.
The people outnumber the local constabulary 568 to 1. The ratio is a little more in favor of city and county law enforcement employees because the figure excludes Red Bank, Soddy-Daisy, East Ridge and Collegedale — municipal corporations with police departments.
If push comes to shove, the people will win — if they have been pushed long enough, hard enough, in worsening personal and financial circumstances imposed upon them by Gov. Bill Lee, Mayor Andy Berke, county mayor Jim Coppinger and other officials such as Brian Williams, mayor of East Ridge.
The rise in private violence is marked on Page 1 this morning of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. A report indicates a 24 percent rise of domestic throttlings in the city over March of last year and an 89 percent spike in the county.
Regina McDevitt of Partnership for Families, Children and Adults amplifies this information in an interview on the David Tulis show at 92.7 FM in Chattanooga.
The rise of interpersonal private violence will worsen as mayors and governors begin enforcement actions against people in their movement and private activities.
They do not appear to have started in the Chattanooga area. But such enforcement actions are occurring worldwide, some with boldly totalitarian form, as in Serbia.