Councilman: More pool time would keep teens employed, safe

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The city of Nashville says it’s fighting a youth violence problem by creating jobs for teens and protecting safe spaces for children to go. One of those places are city pools.

However, Nashville’s four outdoor pools don’t have enough lifeguards to keep them staffed full time.

“On a hot summer day it should be hopping here,” said Cleveland Park resident Ariana Evans. “It’s a great pool but it’s just sitting here empty.”

Evans is talking about the Cleveland Park Pool at the Cleveland Community Center.

The pool is open three days a week, but only one hour a day is reserved for families. That’s because the pool shares lifeguards with the Napier pool in South Nashville, which is only open two days a week.

“We have this great resource and we can’t use it,” said Evans. “The hours are either monopolized by the Boys and Girls Club or the lifeguards aren’t here.”

Evans even created a petition on Change.org.

Scott Davis, the Councilman for District 5, says he has an idea. He wants Metro Council to give the Parks Department $10,000 to recruit teen lifeguards and pay to train them.

“If these young people have a little pocket change as they’re going through the program, it may be an incentive for them,” said Davis. “It will keep them busy all summer long and we know we want to keep our youth busy.”

What’s more, the mayor’s office might be on board with the plan.

“I have spoken with parks and I know they are looking into options to find qualified lifeguards necessary to keep the pool open more days,” said the Mayor Megan Barry’s spokesman Sean Braisted. “We are happy to do what we can to assist in that effort.”

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