With officer shortage in Nashville, one business owner waits nearly two days for police to make a report

stolen car
Posted at 4:46 PM, Apr 26, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — An officer shortage is impacting response times for low-priority calls in Nashville.

At Solaria Lighting on Linbar Drive, Josh Walters was packing up chandeliers Saturday to move his business.

Then, he noticed his car was gone. Someone took his keys and wallet from his office.

"It’s tough," Walters said.

When the thief used his credit card, he got a fraud alert. He said he felt violated because it happened when he was working in the back of his shop.

He called the police, but it took nearly two days for an officer to arrive.

“We all expect that when we need the police that they’ll show up and that they’re gonna be there right away, ‘as quickly as they can,’ is different from being there right away,” Walters said, “It’s one of those things where I’m having a labor shortage, everyone’s having a labor shortage, and I never thought the police were also having this.”

It was a busy day due to the marathon, so resources were tied up, according to a Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson.

On top of that, there was a surge in calls in the south precinct, which created a backlog. That's when officers prioritize calls based on public safety. For instance, there was a deadly shooting that day in Antioch.

In addition, the police force in Nashville is short 174 officers.

"People are catching bad police officers doing bad things, so it’s not a good time in society right now to be a police officer, and for me, that’s disheartening," Walters said.

MNPD currently has 47 officer candidates currently in training. Walter said he hoped his story will encourage more people to join the force.

"I guess my final thought is, if I needed the police in a life-threatening emergency, I just hope that they would come," Walters said.

Walters' silver sedan is still missing. If you see it around town, he'd love to get it back. No arrests were made.