Crimes involving guns continued to increase in Nashville during the first three months of this year, continuing an upward trend that began two years ago and has defied a reduction in overall crime, reports the Tennessean. From January through March, 724 gun-related crimes were recorded, a jump of nearly 17% from the same period last year.
”I’m very concerned,” Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas said in a recent telephone interview. While overall crime fell 4% in Nashville last year, aggravated assaults and robberies involving guns increased. So far this year, both categories of gun crimes are up again, by 12% and 30%, respectively. Serpas took over as chief in January 2004 and vowed to make Nashville America’s safest big city. He brought with him a statistics-based crime-fighting strategy, in which department commanders identify problem areas in the city and target police resources. Serpas insisted that with more time, his strategy will reduce gun crimes.