By RACHAEL LONG
Following an incident which left a Brentwood police officer injured and another incident which included several juvenile suspects in the murder of a 24-year old Belmont graduate, law enforcement agencies in Middle Tennessee have begun to take collective action.
Brentwood Police Chief Jeff Hughes spoke at the city’s Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night to publicly acknowledge a problem which he says have reached “almost epidemic proportions.” That problem is juvenile crime.
Hughes said the Brentwood and Franklin Police Departments joined forces Monday morning to initiate a meeting between law enforcement agencies across jurisdictional lines. Officers from departments across Middle Tennessee met in Franklin to strategize about how to work together to protect citizens against crimes committed by juveniles and young adults.
Hughes said law enforcement agencies all over the region are seeing “a tremendous amount” of this type of crime, which often includes carjacking, auto burglaries, armed robberies and other violent crime.
Brentwood Police, Clarksville Police, Franklin Police, Hendersonville Police, Lavergne Police, Metro Police, Nolensville Police, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Smyrna Police, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office all participated in the meeting.
Hughes said officers across Middle Tennessee are taking aggressive steps collectively to find solutions to deal with this type of crime.
But one of the best ways to prevent crimes of this nature, Hughes said, falls on the citizens.
“Of all the things we can do as a law enforcement agency, probably the single-most important thing that can be done to deter this type of crime is completely out of our control,” Hughes said. “And that’s locking your vehicles, not leaving your keys in your car, [and] not leaving valuables in your vehicles.”
Hughes said the law enforcement agencies from this morning’s meeting will continue to work together to address this problem throughout Middle Tennessee. Police leaders are already discussing action steps and a date for their next strategic session.