NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Police Chief John Drake says the department will increase its presence in the Midtown area of Nashville due to a recent uptick in crime.
Drake provided an update Wednesday, saying there have been three shootings in the Demonbreun Street area since April.
"It saddens me to see that people who come here to enjoy our city or people that live in this city have to worry about danger,” Drake said.
He said the department is adding more officers in the area, going from around three to four to eight total. The department is also adding its mounted horse patrol and DUI/aggressive driving units.
Drake said the department also has a camera system in the area – called SkyCop – that monitors vehicles and people as they come and go.
In response to a shooting early Sunday in the 1500 block of Demonbreun St, the 3rd since April, Chief Drake this morning walked the area & told business owners to expect increased MNPD resources & visibility on weekends. A Skycop trailer with cameras was placed on the block Tue. pic.twitter.com/L6vUVHiYrW— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) August 18, 2021
Drake said while these resources will help address the area’s immediate needs, the department is looking at long-term concerns, as well.
Watch the full update from Metro police:
Business owners in the area say they're concerned, frustrated and want something to be done to deter the problem.
Josh Griffin, general manager of Tin Roof, says the music and laughs you usually hear along Demonbreun Street have been replaced with the sounds of gunfire and fear.
"In the nine years that I’ve been in this street we’ve seen more crime in the last 10 months than we have collectively in the previous nine years," Griffin said
The uptick in crime is a safety concern Griffin says he has for his employees and patrons.
"There's been a murder on the street, already another shooting over the weekend, that left a man critical. You don't want to have those conversations," he said.
Griffin says for months he and his neighbors have been asking the police for more help. Many are doing all they can to make sure the violence outside doesn't bleed inside their businesses.
"In the last nine months, we have employed armed security, so every Friday, Saturday Sunday, we have armed guys here," Griffin said.
Businesses line one side of the street, and apartments are on the other side. People who live there say they're tired of hearing gunshots from their apartments or seeing it happen from their balconies.
AN UPTICK IN CRIME
Police are still searching for the gunman in Sunday’s shooting that left a man seriously injured. They have not released any details about the suspect, who fled after firing off gunshots, but have been working to see if any nearby surveillance video could help in that investigation.
Back in April, 26-year-old Christopher Hill was shot and killed on the street. Since then, police have been searching for four people who they say left from Vibes, one of the businesses in the area.