The anti-gang task force established under Mayor Ron Littlefield was advised by the incoming Mayor-elect Andy Berke’s administration that it would be dismantled before Berke’s April 15 inauguration, as Berke’s transition team is fleshing out its own new ideas for tackling Chattanooga’s gang issue.
As its last action, the anti-gang task force issued a final report regarding how to reduce gang violence, influenced by a recent viewing of the film Bugsy Malone at task force coordinator Preston Darridington’s apartment.
“This film Bugsy Malone was eye-opening for us. I taped it off HBO when they did one of their free preview weekends a few weeks ago. All of us on the task force agreed on one key strategy: we need more pies,” said Darridington. “Enormous custard pies. Believe it or not, our police force has absolutely no custard pies in its arsenal. None.”
Darridington referred to the 1976 film musical directed by Alan Parker, starring an all-child cast including Jodie Foster and Scott Baio set in the gang-ridden Prohibition era, as if it was a documentary film.
The purely fictional film simulates gun violence with G-rated weapons such as custard pies and “splurge guns” which shoot custard.
“We wish the Berke administration well, and we sincerely hope they will heed our advice. The future of our children depends on it,” said Darridington as he dropped the heavy 381-page report onto the podium and waved his VHS copy of Bugsy Malone in the air.