NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As Davidson County approaches 100 murders so far this year, Nashville Mayor John Cooper pointed to a cause for the growing crime that’s already surpassed the 91 homicides noted by Metro Police this time last year.

A deadly shooting involving coworkers at a Nolensville Pike construction site on Tuesday, Nov. 15 — resulting in a man’s arrest in East Tennessee the following day — marked Davidson County’s 96th murder of 2022.

“It’s unacceptably high,” Cooper said. “A very large part of it are these tragic domestic episodes that have gotten out of control with the presence of guns.”

The most recent incident report numbers released by the Metro Nashville Police Department show that aggravated assault, commercial burglary, residential burglary, larceny, and auto theft are also higher year-to-date.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time with Chief Drake on this. It’s tough,” Cooper admitted.

Finding the perfect formula to combat crime is proving challenging in a city where statistics show while police are solving more crimes than in past years, crime is still happening at an accelerated rate.

“Now we’ve got this tough statistic that we’re getting to the end of the year and Nashville has hovered between 80 and 120 homicides a year for some period of time,” the mayor said. “Each one is an incredible tragedy and not acceptable.”

The mayor is turning his focus to youth outreach programs with the launch of a new tool called Out-Of-School-Time program locator, allowing parents to contact 60 nonprofits that provide after-school activities to students in need.

“It is a complete focus in our department,” Cooper continued.

And so is filling open positions on the police force.

“Our police training academy started two new classes today,” Cooper said. “We’ve had six graduations in the last year, and we have eight classes planned for next year, 350 new officers.”

The mayor said Nashville, for the first time in years, will hopefully have a fully-staffed police department that doesn’t require mandatory overtime by this time in 2023.