NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Resting on top of one of the tallest points in the city, northwest of downtown, is a strong and well-rooted neighborhood known as College Hill.
“A lot of the houses in the neighborhood were built to support the growing faculty and staff at TSU,” said Van Pinnock, the Director of the College Hill Neighborhood Group.
From 28th Avenue to 40th Avenue, and with Charlotte Pike to the south and Tennessee State University on its northern edge, Erskine Lytle and Orealia Dooley say their neighborhood has kept new construction from popping up and crime rates falling down.
“It has grown a lot, it has changed a lot but it still very comfortable,” said Lytle.
“I walk the streets at night, I walk my dog. I feel safe in this neighborhood,” Dooley told News 2.
Part of that is because of a small but dedicated group of two dozen residents that meet every other month to talk about the good and bad things happening in the neighborhood.
Their goal is to keep crime out before it ever moves onto College Hill.
“Our mission is to make sure our neighbors feel safe and cared for,” said Pinnock.
If you look at a Crime Tracking map, the majority of crime over the last three months on College Hill is minor property crimes. You have to go to the bottom of the hill across 28th Avenue North to find the most recent violent crime.
“We have little nuisance crimes – vandalism, car break ins, things like that,” said Dooley.
The College Hill Neighborhood Group is hoping their presence will deter criminals from coming to their streets.
“[We’re] trying to get on the front end of it and not wait for something negative to happen,” explained Lytle.
With a proactive approach, they are working to put cameras and neighborhood watch signs up around the neighborhood.
“We look out, we are engaged. We are looking out our windows, we are little snoop dogs,” said Dooley.
The cameras will be placed on posts and buildings along the busiest roads coming on and off College Hill. They would also be in plain view so criminals know they are watching.
Pinnock said the more eyes watching out, the better for everyone as new families move to the hill.
“It is just an extension of making sure that the minimal to no activity that we have in terms of crime kind of stays that way,” said Pinnock.
That is a win for everyone there. Lytle hopes other neighborhoods nearby may use them as an example and do their part in fighting back against crime.
“We are looking out for them and that has continued as the hill has grown and the hill has grown tremendously but that attitude is still here,” said Lytle.Click here for more CrimeTracker: Fighting Back stories.