Nashville North Precinct CommanderTerrence Graves celebrates a 10 percent reduction of crime this year after seeing that area of the city account for more than 40 percent of shootings and active violent crime in last year.
Graves started off in the Criminal Investigations Division and Office of Accountability and served in the police department for 15 years before his promotion in 2012 to commander, according to a police department 2012 press release.
Now in his early 40s, Grave’s priority continues to focus on violent crime reduction in the community. He believes that crime reduction is a primary focus because that then leads to reduced crime retaliation.
“What ends up happening is we find all these connections to certain shootings or domestic issues, so the plan is to stop the ripple effect from even beginning,” Graves said.
The current trend in North Nashville’s crime circuit has been juvenile violent crime. That’s why the department values the Gang Resistance and Educational Training also known as the G.R.E.A.T program along with other community outreach efforts they are trying to put in place.
Teaching kids the life skills about resisting gang membership by finding that sense of community elsewhere and helping them explore and develop their strengths is a national program police have implemented, he said.
“Myself and many other officers at the North Precinct have signed up for the Big Brother, Big Sister program,” Graves said, “Community involvement is the key to safety in any community.”
Along with hanging out with his ‘little brother,’ Graves spends time reading to Ms. Jayme Hubbell’s class on Mondays at Buena Vista Elementary Enhanced Options.
The student he mentors attends school there and Graves believes it is important to stay in one central location so that kids can get used to you, be comfortable, and form positive relationships around law enforcement officers. Graves tries to keep his department just as active socially as they are when sent out to enforce the law.
“Recently we’ve had an egg hunt sponsored by Dollar General, and we put on a huge trick or treat event last October for the kids with well over $1,000 worth of candy donated by officers. Right now we are working on a social event. We are not disclosing all the details just quite yet,” Commander Graves said.
Graves continually works to find ways to get donations so that the department can sponsor more community events. Donations can be made through the website along with Community resources and service guides.