Neighbors await new Metro police precinct - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Neighbors await new Metro police precinct

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The 12th South neighborhood is one of Nashville's most popular and vibrant areas, but the number of burglaries, assaults and other crimes there and in nearby Edgehill in recent years is staggering.

In fact, it had gotten so bad, police are planning to take up permanent residence there by building a new police precinct in the center of it all.

"You're scared. You don't want nobody to come up, (and say) 'Hey I need your shoes right now. Come on. Take your jacket off, because we're about to do something to you,'" said Michelle Hughes, mother of a murder victim.

By this time next year, property that is now littered with broken beer bottles and discarded furniture will be converted into a police precinct full of officers.

"The neighbors are all for it. The community's all for it. And while the police operation will be based here, it's going to cover 47 square miles. But it's good for this particular community," said Metro police spokesman Don Aaron.

Crime statistics show that in just the past week alone, there have been four assaults, two burglaries, a grand theft and a drug charge just within a two-block radius of the future precinct.

While nobody knows for sure if the new facility will help the crime problem, most would agree it couldn't hurt.

"I think it'll be safer knowing it's here and that it'll serve a purpose to help everybody," Hughes said.

The future Midtown Hills Police Precinct was originally scheduled to open this month, but the project was pushed back over a land battle.

"We did originally hope to open early in 2013, but due to a delay in acquiring the property and getting ownership of the property, it's going to be closer to early 2014," said Velvet Hunter, with Metro General Services.

For most home and business owners nearby, it's a day that can't come soon enough.

"We think the precinct will be an impetus for urban redevelopment," Aaron said.

The future precinct will become the eighth precinct for the Metro Nashville Police Department. The Midtown Hills section will provide service to parts of what are now the South and West precincts.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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