NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — What was once known as a “sleepy town”, is now gaining a reputation for crime.
“It’s small. It’s kind of in the middle of town,” said Sarah Velez, a young mother who has lived in Hermitage for the last few years.
According to recent data released by the Metro Nashville Police Department, homicides have more than doubled in the Hermitage precinct area, in comparison to last year.
“It makes sense unfortunately,” said Velez. “We’ve been here about three years and…you’ve seen how it’s gone down hill.”
Just last year, the Hermitage precinct of MNPD reported 11 homicides. This year, the department has reported 23.
“It’s several different factors that go into that,” Metro Nashville Polic Interim Chief John Drake said. “Whether it’s gang violence or social media beefs, or just having some type of dispute. These individuals tend to be in these areas and they have these problems.”
Detectives are now spending time sifting the jurisdiction of the precinct, in hopes of identifying specific areas where crime is most likely to occur.
“Hermitage is a big area,” said Drake. “And I don’t want to make people feel unsafe in a particular area, but we have identified some spots where there are some vulnerabilities and we’ve had more problems than others.
When it comes to gun violence, MNPD is dispatching more officers to patrol Hermitage and engage the community.
“What we’ve tried to do is disrupt that by being in the areas, communicating with them and then we are also teaming up with a couple other individuals using the concept of violence interrupters,” Drake explained.
Drake said his goal is to cut homicide numbers in half department-wide, which could take 3-5 years to achieve.