Nashvillians who want a new police precinct in their neighborhood will have to wait. The city’s finances are tight. Funding for the next neighborhood in line — was left out of the budget again.
With the rising cost to live in Nashville, more and more people are choosing to stay in Antioch an area that’s consistently fighting a reputation of crime.
“Our community is one of the communities who has had some devastating events over the last couple of years and a police precinct is desperately needed,” District 28 Councilwoman Tanaka Vercher.
Two recent national headlines include the 2017 Antioch church shooting and last year’s waffle house shooting.
Vercher says it’s more evidence of why Antioch needs a new police precinct.
The ground off of Murfreesboro Pike is already cleared to make way, but no building and staff to put there.
“We need the ninth precinct to be a priority, out in the southeast Antioch area. Our community cannot wait,” Vercher said.
Metro’s police chief asked the mayor again in March for money to begin hiring staff for the precinct.
“What we would propose is hiring 22 officers. It takes 66 officers to staff the precinct. we’d hire 22 this year, 22 the next year, and then over the three year period we have 66 in place,” Chief Steve Anderson said.
But the mayor and metro council approved a budget without funding for more officers. Council also has not passed funding to build the precinct.
“Our public safety, both our firemen and our police officers they are stretched very thin, they do a great job,” Vercher said, “But they are stretched very thin. At some point, we are going to have to say as a city that one education is a priority and that public safety is a priority.”
People in Bellevue have also called for a new police precinct, but they’ll have to wait in line. Police say Antioch will get a precinct first. However, with no funding approved, it’s unclear when either will happen.