West Precinct Commander talks about crime in Bellevue

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Recent shootings have some residents concerned about an increase of gun violence in the Bellevue area, located in Metro’s West Precinct.

“We moved from Memphis to get to a safer area for my son and then this happens right down the street,” one Bellevue woman told News 2

Another man who recently moved to the area also said the gun violence worried him.

“It’s sad to hear I just moved here and expected this neighborhood to have less crime,” James Howser said. “It is somewhat alarming to know that is happening around me.”

Commander Marlene Pardue leads Metro’s West Precinct and said she understands those concerns.

“You have to look at the whole picture,” she said. “Bellevue encompasses not just the zone you were talking about, but it encompasses [zones] 121-123-125.”

A zone is a designated area inside of Metro Nashville’s police precincts. Each one is drawn according to the number of calls for service and population density.

The more calls and higher the population density, the smaller the geographic zone.

“If you look at all of the zones that take in Bellevue, yes 35 percent seems like a lot,” Commander Pardue said. “But if you had 2 incidents last year and this year you have one, you are down 50 percent.”

So far this year in West Precinct there have been 19 gunshot victims who were injured or died.

At the same time last year there were 14.

The most recent shooting in Bellevue happened outside the Exxon at Highway 70 South and Old Hickory Boulevard.

A man was shot with his own gun after chasing after a suspect who took the gun and his wallet off the front seat of his truck. The victim survived the shooting.

In November, two men were shot at the Bellevue Heights Apartments on Amberwood Circle.

In July, Billy Ray Plunk was shot and killed during an attempted robbery at the Iroquois Apartments on Old Hickory Boulevard.

Two men have been charged in that killing.

“It doesn’t take away from the fact that someone who is the victim of a crime is the victim of a crime regardless of the circumstances involved,” Commander Pardue said. “When you look at other areas of town, Bellevue is in pretty good shape. We traditionally have been toward the bottom when it comes to violent crime in that area.”

She also said a number of crimes in Bellevue are related to high risk behavior.

“An example would be they are going to buy marijuana and the person ends up getting robbed,” she said. “If you are engaging in risky behavior your chances of becoming a victim are going to be a little bit higher.”

She did add, however, that it doesn’t take away from the fact that someone who is the victim of a crime is the victim of a crime.

There are also ways to help prevent crime in your area.

“Form a neighborhood watch group. Even in an apartment complex you can have a neighborhood watch group,” she said. “In fact in one of the apartment complexes we have had incidents in, we are working on doing that.”

She also said to be aware of your surroundings and watch for suspicious activity.

You can also get to know the officers and supervisors who patrol the zones you live and work within in each precinct.

Pardue told News 2 crime does move, so one area may be quiet one month and then have a number of incidents the next.

“Crime does move from one part of town to another part of town,” she said. “As you are looking at it I think it is very important that before everybody sees an incident on Facebook and they panic look at the big picture.”

News 2 spoke with Commander Pardue specifically about gunshot victims. She did point out that overall crime in Bellevue is up about 1.6 percent.

News 2 is committed to tracking crime across Middle Tennessee. Read the latest at wkrn.com/crimetracker.