Thursday, December 15, 2011

Police, TSU working on changes for 2012 homecoming in wake of 2011 Jeff St violence

I arrived late at tonight's North Nashville community meeting due to a conflicting neighborhood association function, but I was at CM Erica Gilmore's meeting long enough to learn of several changes that will be made at next year's festivities. We already knew from the last Salemtown Neighbors meeting that Metro Police are planning on closing down significant parts of Jefferson Street to auto traffic. That plan was reiterated at tonight's meeting. Police representatives also told the meeting that any time large groups of over 8,000 gather in Nashville, they always encounter higher incidence of crime, regardless where the gathering is.

The biggest news tonight is that TSU officials told those present (I estimate around 50) that they are already working towards making changes for next September's homecoming festivities. A TSU committee is said to be focusing on possible changes, with few specifics to share now. However, they do intend to contract the time of the parade from its current 3-hour duration to something shorter and to lower the number of entries marching. They also plan to move the reviewing stand to allow easier access and egress.

Recommendations also came from the community:

  • Eliminating bottlenecks that cause delays in crowd moving up and down Jeff St
  • Designating side streets off Jeff St "one way" to discourage "getaways"
  • Working on changing culture & values in neighborhoods; confronting kids' misbehavior
  • Increasing community policing in the neighborhoods

I continue to believe that TSU can make its most positive contribution by including neighborhood leaders in the process and by finding productive opportunities to involve North Nashville high school students in the events. TSU needs to work on community buy-in to mitigate chances of crime at future festivities.

1 comment:

  1. TSU is a bit trapped. It does not have the political power needed to "run" the cultural "neighborhood" it is part of. By political, I mean the socio-economic and cultural influence that is "lacking" from the "that" part of town.

    Fact is, when Vanderbilt has a homecoming or football game, they are prepared to control the rowdy folk (tho their rowdy folk generally don't shoot off hand-guns). Vandy homecomings are also held on campus. Anything off campus is subject to Metro police.

    TSU should shore up homecoming. They should keep it on campus and hire some extra security.

    I understand TSU wanting to be part of the community, but the fact is, you have a lot of folks showing up who don't giive a darn about higher education, or even getting a high school diploma.

    They would rather cause trouble on the streets they think "belong" to them.

    TSU needs to quit pandering to these people in the black community who don't give a damn about the institution and start respecting those who want to move forward.

    TSU should separate itself from "Jefferson Street," until the community decides to respect it.

    Are there a few "bad apples" who have caused trouble the past few years? Yes. But many bruised apples have stood by and let it happen. If I was president of TSU, I would put up fences for the next homecoming and let the troublemakers have a shoot-out at Wendy's.

    At some point, you gotta say, "Stay away and get a life."