Fearful that property crimes will escalate into violent crimes, Hendersonville Police say they spend many man hours chasing Nashville criminals who come to this Sumner County border suburb to prey on residents.
So this police department is using old school sleuthing techniques to put away some new age criminals.
Hendersonville invited us into their crime tracking nerve center.
“This is absolutely where all of the magic happens. and the pieces of the puzzle come together,” says Commander Scott Ryan.
They use large whiteboards covered with data in black and white and red and green. A spider web of crime-fighting analysis begins to emerge.
“Rather than going through 40-50 pages of reports,” says Ryan, “the colors draw you to certain places so you know what is important.”
It’s in this investigative pressure cooker that clues come to life.
“When we walk out of here we are on a mission. We are going to find the evidence that we need or the people that we are looking for,” Ryan adds.
It’s here that Hendersonville cops see crimes committed, get-a-way vehicles used, suspects culpable.
“We have 14 detectives in Hendersonville and everyone is involved in this.”
Every notation with its own color coding means something.
A victim here could be linked to a suspect there.
A car stolen in Nashville, then spotted by license plate reader cameras in Hendersonville is often a common denominator for a crime trend plaguing this community.
“So you have criminals in Hendersonville, but the majority of your problems, certainly in this nerve center are from Nashville coming to Hendersonville.” Ryan adds, “We have enough home-grown criminals to keep us busy, but when you throw what comes out of Nashville into Hendersonville, it’s swamping us. We spend a lot of our resources chasing people into Nashville.”
News 2 was granted unprecedented access into Hendersonville’s crime-fighting laboratory.
“If you don’t have people processing clues, then it doesn’t matter how much technology you have.”
Commander Schott Ryan is an old school crimefighter using his whiteboard like a criminologist to create a road map to solvability.
Does it work?
In late February, these crime dogs arrested five Nashville teenagers after a high-speed chase that ended around Brick Church Pike.
A crime spree was documented in the nerve center. Ryan explains that the colors helped draw attention to what was important at the time. Whoever is at the board is grabbing whatever color will grab their attention.
As Ryan looks at the whiteboard filled with notes he says, “That is pretty scary …how much goes into solving one or two crimes.
“And you know next week it’ll be clean and we will start all over again,” says Ryan, “because the crime keeps coming out of Nashville.”