NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Nashville is ramping up efforts to fight gun crime in partnership with state and federal agencies.
Mayor David Briley kicked off Project Safe Nashville during a press event late last week.
Nashville residents dialed 911 to report gun related incidents more than 6400 times last year. The city suffered 85 murders in 2018 alone, most committed with handguns and the majority involving young men.
Mayor Briley said national data suggest if a gun is used in one crime, the odds are very hight it will be used in other crimes. He explained that Project Safe Nashville hopes to “identify the persons pulling the trigger.”
“It’s a chance to save lives, and we know that this is a step that we have to take to give our young people an opportunity to fulfill the lives they have in front of them.”
Project Safe involves a seven-officer police unit working with the city’s crime lab. The partnership also involves state and federal prosecutors along with the FBI, TBI and the ATF.
A video prepared by the city explains how the Crime Lab analyzes shell casings gathered at crime scenes, and guns seized during arrests.
With gun in hand, Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson explained how testing just one seized weapon can help solve several crimes.
“This same weapon was involved in a shooting in Westchester Drive in 2015, Forest Park Road in 2015, and Glenwood Drive in 2015. So you can see how this gives our investigators many leads to follow.”
Mayor Briley stressed the new effort is budget-neutral. Project Safe Nashville uses existing personnel and a $319,000 Department of Justice grant.