BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) – Communication between citizens and police is key to keeping communities safe.
“It’s paramount. We have approximately 40,000 residents in the city of Brentwood, so that is an extra 40,000 sets of eyes for us, and if they are sharing information with us, it makes us much more productive,” said Brentwood police chief Jeff Hughes.
Brentwood is an upscale residential community in Williamson County; it is not a high crime area.
“Consistently year in and year out, Brentwood has been ranked by certain entities as being one of the safest cities in America,” said Chief Hughes.
The city uses many of the same tools as other communities: neighborhood watch programs, email chains, and digital platforms.
One platform that has worked well for Brentwood police is called Nextdoor.
The social network allows the neighborhood to come together online and distribute anything from crime tips to babysitter suggestions. Click here to learn more.
“More than half of our population is signed up for the social media site, so neighbors talk with neighbors and we push out information to neighbors through the social media site,” explained Chief Hughes.
The police department told News 2 that to be able to share information and reach nearly half the community at once is a time saver.
“It’s been extremely important to use. We were able to identify a vehicle we were looking for in a matter of minutes. Sometimes that used to take days, if at all,” said Lt. Jim Colvin of Brentwood police.
Chief Hughes explained to News 2 the department had success in a vandalism case where they shared photos and video with the community through Nextdoor and immediately received a response that led to the case being solved.
Sites like Nextdoor make communication between police and families easier and that interaction is key.
“We have had some really heartfelt and sincere conversations with some people, we have shared a lot of hugs and we have even had people who have prayed with us and purchased meals for us,” said Lt. Colvin.
News 2 is committed to tracking crime across Middle Tennessee. Visit wkrn.com/crimetracker for more coverage.