Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake announced Monday they will restructure law enforcement resources to reduce the city’s violent crime rates.
And as a part of that restructuring, officials will intervene in young people’s lives before they repeat any violent behaviors, the two men said.
“As gun violence has increased nationwide it has also increased here in Nashville. In 2020 our community had 98 gun homicides. That is up from 62 a year ago. Non-fatal gunshot injuries were up 26 percent. We are doing better than most. Where other cities saw homicide increases of 40 percent or higher, our increase was under 30 percent, but that number is still too high,” Cooper said at a press conference Monday.
“Today the department is taking steps to reduce violent crime by deploying 80 officers to precincts across the county. The goal is to keep our neighborhoods safe by keeping officers on the street between 5 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., when most crimes occur.”
Drake said in a press release that each precinct’s enhanced shift will consist of nine officers and one supervisor.
“These officers will provide additional visibility in areas with emerging crime trends through a precision policing model, while also being available to assist regular evening and overnight officers with responding to citizens’ calls for service during the busiest times. In addition, officers working the enhanced shift will concentrate on responding quickly and in numbers to shooting and robbery calls to immediately assist in identifying and apprehending suspects,” according to Drake’s press release.
“The move to the new shift is intended to complement other changes already in place to identify and apprehend those responsible for gun crimes in Nashville.”
Drake also announced that Metro officials have created the MNPD’s first-ever Office of Alternative Policing Strategies. Commander David Imhof will head the new office, the press release said.
“Imhof will work with justice system stakeholders, including Juvenile Court, clergy, mental health professionals, advocacy groups and other community leaders, to refine ways to meaningfully intervene in the lives of young people and those in vulnerable populations whose illegal behavior is indicative of becoming more serious,” according to the press release.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Images “Police Chief John Drake” and “Nashville Mayor John Cooper” by Metro Nashville Network.