Committee discusses solutions to ongoing violence in North Nashville

Officials came together to discuss how to make the Metro area safer.
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 10:12 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro’s Community Safety Partnership Fund Advisory Board continues to look at ways to curb violence in North Nashville.

The board held a meeting Thursday afternoon inside the City Hall. They’re in the process of choosing a local non-profit that applied for funding as part of the North Nashville Violence Interruption plan.

“It is an epidemic. It is, I believe, truly something that goes on from the mental state, but it’s going to take us all. We got to get everybody involved,” said Ron Johnson, Metros Community Safety Director.

He has a passion for curbing violence in Music City and nationwide.

“I’m a victim of losing someone, so I truly know how it feels. My mom was murdered in Memphis,” said Johnson.

Tackling violence to him means starting with everyone, no matter how young or old.

So, if someone knows someone that may be a perpetrator of violence and if someone knows that person or those people, they may be the one that can influence them not to be the one perpetuating the violence,” said Johnson.

The advisory board heard from two local organizations pitching initiatives to reduce violence. They’ve applied for funding to curb violence in this area specifically, which is 750,000 yearly. The board will hear from three local organizations and pick two to participate in the North Nashville Violence Interruption pilot. Each group would receive $375,00 a year for two years.

Darrell Caldwell, the President & CEO of “Why We Can’t Wait Inc.” plans to use education as its primary tactic to help stop the violence.

“Education really provides a way out of poverty. It always has, and it always will. It will put you at another level of thinking, another level of doing, and just a way of providing for the next generation and your family. You start something new when you’re educated,” said Caldwell.

Caldwell’s organization is developing a men’s initiative, a mentorship program geared towards sophomores and juniors at Tennessee State University to mentor students at Pearl Cohn High students.

“The funding will be chosen by the advisory board, and then we will ask them to go to work, and they’ll have a charge, and those groups who don’t get it will still be looking to work with them as well,” said Johnson.

Next week, the advisory board will hear from Gideon’s Army.