MNPD Chief John Drake promises to keep Nashville schools safe

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - News4 is hearing exclusively from Nashville’s police chief following the deadly shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Chief John Drake is trying to reassure parents and students that they are safe going to school in Nashville.

Drake was one of the speakers at his alma mater’s graduation ceremony in Nashville Wednesday. He used the opportunity to send his prayers to those who lost their lives in Texas.

Drake is a 1983 graduate of East Nashville High School. Wednesday night, he addressed the graduating class of 2022. “Although this is a very happy occasion, I have to give a little bit of tribute for the incident yesterday in Texas,” Drake said in his speech.

As a father and grandfather to a four-year-old, Drake said he is shaken by the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that took the lives of 19 children.

“All I could think about is what parents could be dealing with,” Drake said. “You send your kids to school to have a good time, to play with friends and classmates, to learn and come home safely.”

Safety is a big concern for parents after 15 guns were confiscated from MNPS campuses just this school year. As a result, some parents are calling for heightened security at Metro Schools.

“Now, because gun violence is so bad, everyone should be searched,” MNPS grandparent Annice Springer said. “Keeping SRO officers and putting more in the schools and security at the doors,” MNPS parent Traci Williams-Anders added.

MNPS said while there are no immediate changes to its existing security protocols, superintendent Dr. Adrienne Battle will continue to discuss and determine whether new steps need to be taken.

“I have also had conversations with Dr. Battle as summer brings about a great time to re-assess what is going on in schools in Nashville, what safety protocols we have in place, and what we can improve upon so we are going to have all those conversations,” Drake said.

Drake said he is committed to the safety of MNPS schools. “Let’s commit ourselves to a lifetime of protecting and caring for one another,” Drake said during his speech.

Drake said Metro Police Officers went to all 120 public and private schools Wednesday and will do the same Thursday for the last day of school.

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