As of Tuesday night, 77 people had lost their lives because of homicide in Nashville this year, says The Tennessean. Many of the victims knew the assailants, and often victims and assailants were between the ages of 13 and 25, Police Chief Ronal Serpas told city officials and religious leaders yesterday. The city’s murder rate is at an all-time high, after a year in which the rate was the lowest since the metropolitan government formed.
Serpas and Mayor Bill Purcell offered to speak to various congregations; they suggested allowing police to hold staff meetings at houses of worship and researching whether officers stationed in schools might qualify to serve as volunteer teachers. Serpas, a former police officer in New Orleans, took a similar tack there in the 1990s. “The clergy in New Orleans really picked up the pace,” he said. “The clergy in New Orleans really made it their commitment to address violent crime.”