North Nashvillians hope National Night Out will start brave conversations

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tuesday was an opportunity for engagement with police and we wanted to find out if it is working.

Neighbors in the Cheatham Place community usually stay inside, but Tuesday they are stepping out to build new relationships and battle old problems.

“It’s something for a lot of people to do besides just standing up there and doing what they doing,” said Melbra Byles.

Long-time residents hope the city uses this to create conversations between those who can help and those who need it.

“This would help, but we need some more mentors out here to be able to speak to them,” Deborah Langster told News 2.

Folks at Cheatham Place say one of the biggest advantages to having nights like this is having police here for something good rather than bad.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

Commander Terrence Graves says seeing officers without crime scene tape behind them can rebuild the trust between young black men.

“There are some kids out there that are honestly afraid of the police because the only time they see the police is when they are coming to take someone to jail.”

Slim Perkins, a community advocate, says the next step will be finding things for young men to do.

“The resources are all around us but who gives a heck? That’s what we need to find out, who gives a heck about these people?”

Perkins knows crime will not go away but bringing people together to talk can make a difference.

“We are out here supporting the community today but tomorrow, we don’t see you anymore.”

People living here want to see a change but just need guidance.

“You’ve got some kids out here that can sing and dance. I mean some beautiful athletes. Let’s give them a chance.”

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