Public housing communities are focal point for Metro police amid National Night Out

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Police in neighborhoods all over Middle Tennessee hope to beef up its partnership with the people they protect and serve.

This year, a focal point for Metro police has been public housing. Even after a surge in crime, the work is paying off.

Policing is about communicating and fellowship.

“I don’t want to see anything go wrong on these properties. I want people to feel safe,” said Jamie Berry, Director of Communications with the Metro Development and Housing Agency.

This April, Metro’s Officer of the Year was attacked at the Cayce Homes public housing complex. And just one day before, another officer was hurt in a knife assault.

Those incidents were followed by a murder and another shooting in the month of May.

“Seeing violence is devastating,” said Berry, who works constantly to make life better for residents of public housing.

The breakout of violence was met by a swift reaction from police–more patrols, surveillance cameras, and interaction were all part of it.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

Metro police Chief Steve Anderson even paid the neighborhood a visit.

It seems to be the start of an improvement.

“I feel like our Metro police officers have done an excellent job in making sure they’re putting residents first, keeping our community safe,” Berry told News 2.

In the short term, Berry describes a change at the city’s largest public housing complex. Crime seems to have slowed down.

Metro’s housing agency is adding 150 more cameras and reminding residents, as Berry said, “you are responsible for your guest.”

“If they commit a crime or do something wrong, you are responsible,” she added.

It’s ongoing education, and despite the anger and animosity in some parts of the country, Metro officers—all officers—are people, even before they’re police.

Berry says to treat officers “as people, just like you and I.”

And on Tuesday night, officers and agencies are trying to bridge that gap with the community as 15 of the city’s housing complexes are holding events with the Metro Nashville Police Department.

News 2 is committed to covering crime across Middle Tennessee. Visit wkrn.com/crimetracker for more coverage.

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