Chief Cites CompStat In Nashville’s Falling Crime


CompStat is the cornerstone of Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas’ year-old effort to recast the Metro Police Department, reports The Tennessean. The weekly data-driven review of crime has become symbolic of the new policing philosophy Serpas brought to Nashville 12 months ago – a philosophy honed during stints as deputy chief in New Orleans and chief of the Washington State Patrol. The command staff is expected to know everything that’s occurring in their precincts. If they don’t, their answers place their ignorance uncomfortably on display. They are expected to marshal their resources to solve problems, to take responsibility for what happens in their zones. “The precinct commanders are the real police chiefs,” Serpas says. “It’s my job to hold them accountable.”

Three of the department’s six precinct commanders have been replaced during the new chief’s tenure. Serpas has ruffled feathers by retooling the department’s top management team and ordering specialized officers, such as drug and homicide detectives, back into uniform and onto street patrols. Not since 1967 did Nashville see as few killings as in 2004. Not since 1969 have there been so few burglaries. Car thefts are down 14 percent. Arrests overall are up 13 percent. “See? See? See how it works?” he told his staff in the final CompStat meeting of 2004. The big screen had shown a sharp statistical decline in one neighborhood’s property crime rate. “Something’s happening, isn’t it?”


Comments are closed.