As violent crime rises in East Nashville, neighbors meet with police for answers

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There has been an increase in violent crime in East Nashville so far this year.

Metro police report homicides and aggravated assaults are both up while property crime is down.

Thirteen people have been killed in East Nashville so far in 2017. Thirteen people total were killed in 2016.

Metro Police Commander David Imhof attend a Crime Prevention Town Hall Monday night hosted by concerned Cleveland Park residents. He called the homicide trend “disturbing.”

(Photo: WKRN)

“They are not related to each other,” Imhof said of the homicides. “How to combat the issue is going to be from us being diligent and having our resources in the right areas. Also, it takes the community being involved and engaged because it really is a partnership.”

One of the ways community members can be in engaged is by filing a restraining order against repeat offenders in a neighborhood.

The Neighborhood Protect Act was signed into law in 2015. Under the law, an HOA or neighborhood watch group can petition a judge for a restraining order against repeat criminals that target neighbors.

The offender must have been convicted of three or more offenses that occurred inside the residential area. Those offense include theft, rape, and murder.

(Photo: WKRN)

“If I lived in the same neighborhood as somebody and they keep committing those same crimes against their neighbors you must ask how concerned are they about their neighbors?” asked state Rep. Harold Love. “The Neighborhood Protection Act allows people to put a restraining order telling someone you can’t come back into this neighborhood.”

Love says the restraining order does work against a repeat offender who owns a home.

Rep. Love was also at the Crime Prevention Town Hall, as was Councilman Scott Davis, U.S. Attorneys Sunny Koshy and Phil Wheby and Lonnell Matthews from the mayor’s office.

Mayor Barry has asked Metro Council for funding for 70 additional Metro police officers, some of whom will be stationed in the East Precinct.

But Commander Imhof says it’s going to take more than police, it’s going to take community engagement.

Omid Yamini helped organize the town hall and says he wants his neighbors to be armed with information.

“We’re hoping people walk away with new ideas on crime prevention for the neighborhood like what they need to do in different situations, who to report things to and what’s worth reporting,” he told News 2.

Metro police urge you to call and detail what you’re seeing if you’re reporting suspicious behavior. Rep. Love and Councilman Scott Davis also urged neighbors to get to know each other.