Saturday, March 1, 2008

Chief puts pressure on gangs

By NATALIA MIELCZAREK • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • March 1, 2008 Nashville neighborhoods will see more police presence starting next weekend as Chief Ronal Serpas expands anti-gang efforts. Serpas said Friday he wants to beef up a program dubbed Operation Safer Streets by assigning an additional 23 officers every Friday and Saturday to patrol the city, especially spots known for gang activity. How Smart Guys Defeat Pimples Winning at the Health Insurance Game Are You Diabetic? Simplify Your Life Doing so will double the number of patrol officers on those days, he said. The expansion will phase out an initiative called Mission One, in which detectives and officers assigned to non-precinct duties were assigned to patrol duty one Friday or Saturday a month. Some have complained that the program, which started in 2004, compromised their safety. They will now make the transition to Operation Safer Streets, the chief said. "There are gangs in Nashville," Serpas said. "They do disrupt schools, and they do commit violence, mostly against one another. "We've been engaged in Operation Safer Streets specifically because of that." Metro Canine Sgt. Danny Hale said reassigning more officers to Operation Safer Streets was "a step in the right direction." "The good part about it is that a lot of your criminal activity originates from gang activity, so you've got detectives out there working," said Hale, president of Metro's Fraternal Order of Police, the police union.

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