NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper gave a strong sense of optimism in his annual State of Metro address. He spoke at the Southeast Community Center in Antioch.

During his address, he stressed the importance of public safety. Some additions coming to Metro Police include: 170 police officers, 400 vehicles and 40 911-dispatchers along with new technology.

Metro Police will soon break ground on their ninth precinct in Antioch. Chief John Drake says the 47 new recruits will help to staff that precinct.

Currently, the department is working on recruiting more officers.

“It’s a tough time for a lot of employers around the country; it’s the great resignation,” Chief Drake said. “We’re trying to make the job more attractive through our community engagement to show all the great things we are doing.”

Both Mayor Cooper and Chief Drake believe Nashville is on the right path to continued success. However, they want to continue addressing current and future public safety issues to remain on the right path.

During the mayor’s speech, he also spoke about the six month license plate reader trial. Back in February, Metro Council agreed to give police the ability to read people’s license plates.

Mayor Cooper stressed that officers will not use this technology for traffic violations. Instead, it can help them with vehicle thefts, kidnappings and other serious crimes.

Chief Drake echoed the same sentiments on the purpose and use of this technology and that he believes will serve as a vital tool for officers.

To learn more about the license plate reader trial, please click here.