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Chief Drake Briefs Mayor Cooper and Nashville Community on Gun Crime Reduction Efforts and New Office of Alternative Policing Strategies

2/1/2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chief John Drake today briefed Mayor John Cooper and the Nashville community on the continued repurposing of MNPD resources to deter and reduce crimes of violence through both enforcement measures and intervention in the lives of young persons before their troublesome behavior becomes a pattern.

“Beginning this week, the department is implementing an enhanced shift of patrol officers across the eight precincts,” Chief Drake said. “Each precinct’s enhanced shift will consist of 9 officers and 1 supervisor, a total of 80 personnel, who will work from 5 p.m. until 3:30 a.m., the hours during which most violent crime occurs. These new teams will be an important part of the department’s public safety mission even as two classes of new police officers graduate from the MNPD Academy next month and in August.”

These officers will provide additional visibility in areas with emerging crime trends through a precision policing model, while also being available to assist regular evening and overnight officers with responding to citizens’ calls for service during the busiest times. In addition, officers working the enhanced shift will concentrate on responding quickly and in numbers to shooting and robbery calls to immediately assist in identifying and apprehending suspects.

The move to the new shift is intended to complement other changes already in place to identify and apprehend those responsible for gun crimes in Nashville. In October, Chief Drake instituted a 29-member centralized Homicide Unit to replace the 15-year practice of basing homicide investigation at the precinct level. In December, to supplement the work of the Homicide Unit and to add additional resources to identify gun criminals, Chief Drake directed the creation of 6 TITANS (The Investigative Team Addressing Neighborhood Shootings) groups of undercover detectives based in the Specialized Investigations Division. These groups were created through the repurposing of Gang Unit detectives and Juvenile Crime Task Force officers. TITANS detectives now respond to the scenes of murders and critical shootings and work to develop intelligence on the persons responsible, their motives, and who their friends and affiliates may be. The Specialized Investigations Division continues to use the microscopic analysis of shell casings recovered from scenes to connect the same guns and potentially people to shootings in other parts of Nashville and, in some cases, outside Davidson County. It was the work of a TITANS group that led to the January 12th apprehension of Caitlyn Kaufman homicide suspect James Cowan.

Chief Drake today also announced the creation of the MNPD’s first-ever Office of Alternative Policing Strategies. Commander David Imhof, who has led operations at the East Precinct for the past 10 years and has recently received his Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, will head the new office, and is being appointed to the newly created rank of Inspector. Imhof will work with justice system stakeholders, including Juvenile Court, clergy, mental health professionals, advocacy groups and other community leaders, to refine ways to meaningfully intervene in the lives of young people and those in vulnerable populations whose illegal behavior is indicative of becoming more serious. Imhof will be developing parameters for the office in the coming weeks.

Chief Drake's Remarks at News Conference

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Chief Drake at News Conference
Chief Drake at News Conference