Police make safety a priority in downtown Nashville after slight increase in crime

Posted at 6:04 PM, Feb 21, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Police are searching for the suspects who robbed a woman at gunpoint in downtown Nashville, but it's just one of several crimes recently reported in the downtown area.

The robbery happened on February 8 on the corner of 5th Avenue North and Church Street. The woman told police she and a friend were walking to their hotel room at 3:30 in the morning when one of the men approached her and engaged in small talk. She says the suspect showed a handgun and demanding her things.


The Metro Central police precinct says there has been a slight increase in crime downtown compared to this time last year.

Central Commander Gordon Howey says there have been 236 crimes reported to his precinct this year. He said a majority of those crimes involve the homeless. Tourists we talked to say despite the numbers, they feel safe out in the entertainment district.

"We had no issue with like people bothering us or asking us for money. I have a smoke and no body bothers me. I haven’t had any issues at all. It’s been great," said Jon Vetrone from Pittsburgh.

Others say they've noticed a lot security and police in the area. Commander Howey says in July of 2019, they added 17 officers to the area, and on weekends they add more depending on the shift.

"We were walking all night, walking around the area and we didn’t feel threatened or unsafe at any time," said Jorge Negret from Dallas.

The crimes are reported the most are robberies, aggravated assaults and intoxication. So far, the Central precinct has seen 17 street robberies and 28 reported aggravated assaults, but Commander Howey says not all involve the entertainment district or tourists.

Police suggest if you visit downtown late at night, don't walk alone. Walk in groups and just use common sense.