ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) — Discussions about a new police precinct in Nashville have come up for years, but now some councilmembers are pushing to make that a reality.
“Saturday we had two deaths,” said Metro Councilmember Joy Styles, “An apparent drug deal gone awry and again it brings the call for having a precinct.”
Nashville currently has eight police precincts, but with Music City’s growth, Styles says it makes sense to add another in Antioch.
“It also enables us as a community to know there will be an immediate response when something takes place,” said Styles, “Right now when a crime takes place the individuals know there is a lag time by our police officers, not because any fault of their own, but because they are spread so thin.”
More than two years ago Metro bought a piece of land in Antioch for $7.45 million.
“The conversation started a few years ago and everyone realized this was a good idea everyone realized the area does need a precinct then we ran into some budget constraints,” said Styles.
With years of budget shortfalls and a shortage of officers, the property never was developed.
“We are not growing our ranks to keep up with the growing exponential population,” said Nashville Fraternal Order of Police President, James Smallwood, “Before we even open up that discussion again we need to talk about where we are with our budgeted sworn personnel in the police department. We don’t have enough to do what we want to do with the precincts today.”
Councilmember Styles hopes Mayor Cooper will put an emphasis on the needs of officers, but also the safety of a growing area like Antioch.
“Once we put that funding in the budget so we can hire those officers,” said Styles. “Then we are hiring officers, then we are building the precinct, then we are putting the whole thing put together properly.”
Councilmember hopes to have a discussion with Mayor Cooper very soon.