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The City's Save Our Sons Program ran from 2014 - 2020.

Save Our Sons Program

  List of Save Our Sons Partners
  Save Our Sons Safety Plan [PDF]
  Save Our Sons Newsletter [PDF]
The Save Our Sons Initiative is creating pathways to success by helping more of our young people stay on track. Providing the support they need to think more broadly about their future; building on what works in order to impact critical life-changing moments through partnerships with community organizations.
Through research, data, strategies and collaborations, Save Our Sons has worked diligently to remove barriers, address persistent opportunity gaps and build strong, lasting bridges to success for Knoxville’s sons. Through this initiative, we have joined with partners who are taking important steps to connect young men and boys of color to mentoring, resources, and skills necessary to find sustainable employment, higher education or technical training and a path to a better life.

Save Our Sons is focused on the following critical milestones:
1. Pre-Enforcement Prevention 
Decrease the number of African American youths (ages 15-24) engaging in criminal activity.

2. Enforcement 
Reduce the incidence of robbery, aggravated assault, and murder.
3. Neighborhood Revitalization 
Invest in beautifying blighted and chronic problem properties in the community.
4. Offender Intervention 
Reduce recidivism of parolees and probationers who return to the community.  
Although the City’s SOS Initiative is a city-wide program, we applied for and were awarded a grant from the State of Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs’ Tennessee Community Crime Reduction Program (TCCRP) to focus on a smaller target area.  For the purposes of the TCCRP grant, we focus on an area where violent crime is particularly high. The target area for that grant is Knoxville’s Project Safe Neighborhood Zone (PSNZ). It is an area covering approximately 2.75 square miles located adjacent to and northeast of the Downtown area. This area includes parts of the Five Points, Morningside, Edgewood, Parkridge, Park City and Burlington neighborhoods.

Through the grant, certain activities will focus on the following project goals:
Goal 1 - Increase number of African-American youths receiving technical training.

Goal 2 - Increase positive interaction between KPD and residents.

Goal 3 - Reduce blighted and chronic problem locations with partnerships.

Goal 4 - Increase collaboration with community agencies; identify services.

Goal 5 -Increase educational and employment opportunities.

Goal 6 - Increase in opportunities for youth to have a safe place to go.

We recently created a small grant program for organizations addressing one or more of the short/long term goals as defined by the TCCRP grants.

The grant awardees are:

Awardee Grant Amount Program Description
Friends of Literacy $20,000 Program will teach career and college classes, study skills, career explorations, GED/HSET classes, computer classes with certifications and mentoring
YWCA $12,151 Offer two 8 week internship sessions for five interns. Selected interns will participate in service learning projects, learn soft skills needed to navigate employment, learn essential work skills and gain experience. Post surveys will be conducted for the project’s long-term development
Vine Magnet Middle School $13,415 Professional and leadership development, mentoring, robotics competition, enhanced educational activities, targeted college and career visits
Discovery Lab Global $7,996 Allows participants to learn OpenSim through Virtual Reality Academy. Then as a team use lessons learned through VR to complete a project based learning experience that focuses on three objectives: 1) Work as a team to design a model 2)Research 3) Calculate and design a scripted animated project.
This project is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee, Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Criminal Justice Programs and is supported by Award #2012-DJ-BX-0208 and Award #2013-MU-BX-0019 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, USDOJ.

Unfortunately, the problems Save Our Sons is addressing will not disappear overnight and results may fluctuate. Studies show and feedback from KPD officers indicate long term results are a by-product of substantial culture and environmental changes that take place after several years of specific and defined opportunities created to eliminating barriers to success. Save Our Sons invites the community to join the initiative in implementing strategies that lead to college and careers- transforming life outcomes for Knoxville’s sons regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born. Together we can ensure that all of our young men reach their full potential.