Metro Nashville At-Large Council Member Steve Glover this week said Metro Nashville officials must use good judgement when planning Davidson County’s next budget and must do right by its police and fire department officers.
Glover said this in a Facebook Live video.
“So, as we go into the budget season, I am watching very closely. I’m concerned because what I heard from the state was that we may have to raise taxes because we didn’t cut expenses. We raised taxes astronomically last year, and we are going through a reassessment right now. I don’t think anybody wants taxes raised. We have got to get our priorities in line,” Glover said.
“We have got to take care of our police and fire. We have got to do those things. We have avoided that. We have ignored it. We have let it slide for far too long, and look at what’s happened. We are about 200 officers short in the police force. We are about the same on the fire department. We have one station more than we had 20 plus years ago in the fire department. That’s ridiculous. In a city our size that is ridiculous.”
Nashville Fraternal Order of Police President James Smallwood told The Tennessee Star Friday that Nashville is currently 149 police officers short of what it is supposed to have. Fifty-one officers, however, are currently in training.
“When you look at the increasing scrutiny on law enforcement, whether it is fair or not, they realize they no longer want to be a part of it or don’t want to enter it as a young professional. They see people doing exactly what they were trained to do, following the law, following their training and being charged with things like murder or being unfairly criticized for the actions they have taken. Even if it is in accordance with how they have been trained,” Smallwood said.
“The Community Oversight Board bears some weight in that. You see comments from people on the board unfairly criticizing law enforcement and police departments and actively calling for defunding of police. It creates undue pressure on law enforcement. You are seeing this narrative across the country, critiquing the people who are brave enough to put on a badge and serve their community.”
As The Star reported last week, Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake will restructure law enforcement resources to reduce the city’s violent crime rates.
In 2020 Nashville had 98 gun homicides, up from 62 a year ago. Non-fatal gunshot injuries were up 26 percent, Cooper said.
The mayor said that police would deploy 80 officers to precincts across the county and keep them on the street between 5 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., when Cooper said most crimes occur.
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