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Public Safety

Mayor Dean believes that a city has to feel safe and be safe in order to be successful; and once a city has a reputation for being unsafe, it takes a long time to reverse that perception. The mayor’s focus on public safety has been reflected in the city’s budget. Even during the recent recession, while most other Metro departments were facing significant cuts, Mayor Dean protected funding for public safety and provided resources for enhancing the services provided by Metro Police and Fire. 

Police Protection Police Graduation Ceremony

Mayor Dean has worked to see more police officers protecting our streets. Early during his administration, Mayor Dean set a goal to bring the Metro Police Department up to full staffing. Once that goal was met, Mayor Dean encouraged the department to seek a federal COPS grant to add 50 new police officer positions and later increased the department’s budget to keep those officers. During his administration, MNPD has recruited and trained more than 480 new sworn police officers. Today, MNPD has its largest number of sworn officers in history. 

Larger police ranks, combined with innovative crime reduction initiatives and enhanced police-community partnerships in neighborhoods, have led to significant results. The Police Department estimates that overall major crimes in 2012 dropped 8 percent below 2011 numbers – a year that had the lowest number of homicides in over four decades. 

As the city continues to grow, Mayor Dean has supported the addition and replacement of police precincts to keep up with population trends. Mayor Dean included funds in several capital spending plans to construct replacement police precincts in West Nashville and Downtown Nashville, as well as a new precinct in the 12th South area, a new precinct in Madison and the city’s first-ever full service DNA Crime Laboratory. The new precincts improve police protection throughout Davidson County by reducing the coverage area of the other precincts.

Fire Facilities Mayor at Fire Hall Groundbreaking

Mayor Dean has also included funds in several capital spending plans to implement a fire facilities master plan for the Metro Fire Department, which calls for renovating and replacing outdated fire halls with new, modern facilities. The construction of eight new or renovated fire halls has been funded under Mayor Dean’s administration.

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Closing Safety Gaps for Domestic Violence Victims

Domestic violence deeply affects a significant portion of the U.S. population and the same holds true here in Nashville. Nearly half of all crimes against persons reported in Davidson County in 2012 were incidents of domestic violence. Moreover, Nashville averages 10 domestic violence homicides each year.

While other crime rates often fluctuate – including the city’s homicide rate, which has hit historic lows in recent years – the rate of domestic violence in Nashville and specifically, domestic violence homicides, has remained consistent year-to-year.

To address this, Mayor Karl Dean decided to explore how the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County can do more to prevent domestic violence incidents from occurring and do a better job of protecting victims and their children.

Mayor Dean assembled more than 100 community members who spent nearly two years identifying gaps in current processes and systems related to domestic violence. The outcome of their work was a report of recommendations on how those processes can be improved.

View a printable PDF of the report