NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Metro Police officials say we're seeing younger and younger ages involved in violent crimes. The biggest challenge here is kids getting their hands on a gun, and it's happening way too often.
The Juvenile Crime Task Force was formed in Nashville one year ago today to address this problem. Since then they've recovered 200 guns, 294 stolen or carjacked vehicles, and 277 juveniles have been arrested.
Investigators say many teens are breaking into these cars looking for some spare change or a phone, and often times finding a gun. Teens are also buying guns inexpensively on the street or even getting them from family members who don't properly secure their firearms.
With the task force already in place, Nashville is adding another resource to get to the bottom of this. Metro Police and the Mayor announced a plan called Project Safe Nashville, the city's largest effort yet to stop gun violence.
The project will be made up of six Metro Police detectives, one sergeant, 10 ATF agents, and members of the FBI. The FBI has created a specialized unit in Nashville to find exactly where these guns are coming from.
Investigators are doing things like tracking shell casings and linking them to weapons to see where the shooting patterns in our community are. In addition, officials also announced that all gun-related crimes will be handled at the criminal court level instead of general sessions court.
Now, the homicide rate for 2018 was down 22 percent. The hope is that these policies will bring that number down even more.