Businesses in west Nashville are joining a program meant to deter criminals and protect customers after seeing an increase in business burglaries.
The mission of the West Precinct Crime Prevention Program is to assess where businesses are vulnerable to criminals and close up those weaknesses.
Metro police make contact with businesses that have been victimized and others interested in the program.
They meet with the business owner and go over a number of security areas including security alarms, surveillance and employee cash handling, among other things.
Officers then make a report to the business on how much more they should do. Once the business is 75 percent compliant, they get a sticker for the window showing they are a member of the program.
West Precinct Officer Adam Parker came up with the program after studying similar initiatives nationwide for best practices.
“We want that criminal to really think twice before targeting one of these businesses,” he said. “It also lets others know this business went the extra mile to protect itself.”
News 2 asked Officer Parker, “Have some of these businesses been shocked by what an easy target they were before they sat down with you?”
He said, “Yes, some surprisingly were. Unless you are aware of it or always looking into these issues you can look over them.”
Frosted Affair in Green Hills is in the process of joining the program.
Bakery owner Amy Millslagle told News 2 security is especially important at the store because half of their customers are families with small children.
“The safety of our clientele and employees is more important to us than selling our most expensive item,” she said. “We have complied with nearly all of the recommendations the police gave us and had most already in place.”
Bree Smith who is the Lead Cake Artist and Creative Director said the employees of the business are also a concern because they often work late.
“We are here until after dark and there are no cars in the parking lot,” she said. “So we definitely want our employees to be able to feel safe at night and not be afraid.”
For more information about joining the program contact Officer Parker at the West Precinct by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.