District 34 is fortunate to have the lowest crime rates in all of Nashville, but areas of perceived affluence are occasionally targeted by criminals. Over the last several years, our area has had rashes of petty theft from cars in driveways, for example, as cars are often left unlocked or with items of value in plain view. No matter where you live, Metro Police always advise you to:
1) have situational awareness, when transitioning to and from your car, whether in a public place/parking lot, or at your home. Always look 360 degrees around yourself before exiting or entering your car. In parking lots and garages, take notice of whether there are people in the cars parked near to you and the areas between, under and around those cars.
2) make sure your home and garage areas are well-lighted with motion-censored lighting. If you park outside, these lights should shine directly onto the area where you and your guests park and onto any large landscaping features that could obscure an assailant. Make sure landscaping around doors and windows is not overgrown.
3) place your alarm company sign(s) at your mailbox, clearly visible from the street, making it obvious to anyone casing your neighborhood that your home is not a target. Individuals and HOAs may want to consider signage at entrances indicating video surveillance, whether or not you actually have it, this can be a deterrent.
4) open your garage door consciously, observing the area of the door as it goes up. Once in your garage, turn off your car immediately and close the garage door, observe the garage door area behind you as the door closes. Do not exit your car until the garage door is closed.
5) make sure that your car is locked at all times, when driving or parked and waiting. Never get out of your car, if you are uncomfortable with the situation around you. Drive to another area and call for assistance.
6) If you are involved in a fender bender that you feel is suspicious/intentional and have concerns about exiting your vehicle, call Metro Police at 911 to share what has happened and indicate that you are driving to a safe place, remain on the phone and keep the police apprised of your exact location.
7) If you see something, say something. Know your neighbors. Be aware of the vehicles that they drive. If you see a single car unknown to you with a person or people inside parked along your street in the late evening, call MNPD's non-emergency line at 615-862-8600 with a description of the car and/or its license plate number. You are not accusing this driver of anything by making a call. Information that may seem inconsequential to you can often be a piece in a puzzle when Metro Police is trying to solve a crime.
These are important reminders, but sadly, no amount of situational awareness will deter a group of criminals intent on perpetrating a crime who have no qualms about using violence to do so. Again, my heart goes out to this family, and I will be working with West Precinct to schedule a neighborhood watch meeting with residents of Charleston Place and with any other HOA and neighborhoods that would like to do the same. This is a standing offer all year round, as well as in times of heightened community concern.
Please never hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to contact the community affairs coordinators at the West (serving District 34 west of Hillsboro Pike) or Midtown Hills (serving District 34 east of Hillsboro Pike) Police Precincts. West: email@example.com. Midtown Hills: firstname.lastname@example.org. MNPD provides free safety assessments for homes, HOAs, institutions, and businesses, and they are always happy to attend your neighborhood association meetings to answer your questions and discuss crime & safety. We are at your service.
Angie Emery Henderson
Metro Council, District 34
Newsletter Sign-up: www.angieforcouncil.org