MTSU co-sponsors expert panel discussion of street...

MTSU co-sponsors expert panel discussion of street violence

Experts from law enforcement, government, academia and the clergy will tackle one of society’s most challenging issues in an upcoming public event.

The MTSU Department of Criminal Justice and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will host a panel discussion on street violence from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at Patterson Community Center, 521 Mercury Blvd. in Murfreesboro.

Dr. Carter Smith

Arranged by criminal justice professor Carter F. Smith, the Rutherford Gang Initiative and the TBI, the panel will explore how communication, education and positive relations can be implemented to reduce the level of street violence.

Smith, a noted gang violence expert, is a founding and current board member of the Tennessee Gang Investigators Association. He started the U.S. Army’s first gang and extremist investigations team.

As an academic, Smith’s research specialties include spontaneous gang formation, military-trained gang members, gangs’ use of technology and gang members in colleges and universities.

Other scheduled members of the panel include:

Kirk Wade, Murfreesboro City Councilman

Kirt Wade

The Rev. Jerry Marable

Jerry Marable

  • Deputy Roscoe Sanders of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and school resource officer for Oakland High School, whose experience includes work as a member of the school threat response team, the special operations response team and as a hostage and crisis negotiator;
  • Jermonde Bey, director of the Prevention Coalition for Success, formerly known as the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of Rutherford County, who has worked with inner city youth for more than 15 years;
  • Bishop Chris Johnson, pastor and founder of Zion Christian Ministries in Murfreesboro, and founder of various outreach programs for men, women, youth and the homeless;
  • Murfreesboro City Councilman Kirt Wade, president and owner of Price Paving in Murfreesboro;
  • The Rev. Jerry Marable, pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, vice president of the Missionary Baptist State Convention Congress of Christian Workers and Education, and;
  • Sgt. Reco Hathaway, Murfreesboro Police Department, head of the COPS Unit, which focuses on community-centered policing.

A question-and-answer session will follow the panel discussion. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Smith at

— Gina Logue (