MNPD office aims to increase outreach to minority communities

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Posted at 6:21 AM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 07:40:51-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new office in the Metro Nashville Police Department looks to increase engagement efforts, especially in minority communities.

The department introduced the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships last month, shortly after John Drake was named police chief.

NewsChannel 5 sat down with several of the officers that make up the new division to talk about the challenges and successes of the office's first month.

"The challenges so far have been primarily administrative challenges, just getting the office actually formed," Lieutenant Rickey Bearden said.

Successes came in the community, according to the officers.

"First thing I did was reach out to the local [Vietnamese] temple, introduced myself and let them know who I am, and it was great because they saw a face that they kind of recognize, because we're from the same country," Officer Jeff Ha said.

MNPD leaders hope the expanded efforts will help increase communication in more communities.

"It's going to open a big wide door where... they're going to be more trusting," Ha said.