Image Credit: Bill Penn / CC
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
Crime and panhandling continue to be a major source of concern for Nashville area business owners who say they are losing customers because of it.
One manager of a local business in Madison told WZTV that crime has been a huge problem for months in his area and that it is hurting the local economy. He says he is over the theft, harassment, and excessive panhandling that continue to occur in the suburb of Nashville.
“They’ve been out there harassing people that are coming in the store or they’re going on the plaza,” said Mena Girgis, manager of Carlos Wireless, located off of Gallatin Pike.
“They are asking people for money, harassing them for money, sometimes they’re stealing,” he continued.
Girgis says the business installed security cameras and put metal over the glass windows, but he still does not feel that it is safe enough. He now closes the store an hour earlier than before because he is concerned about safety issues at night.
“Customers, they sit in the cars waiting for them to leave because they’re afraid to come in the stores, step out of the car. We’re losing customers that way,” Girgis stated.
The Metro Nashville Police Department has upped their presence in the area, so Girgis does see some hope that the situation will change.
“We call now, and they respond very quickly,” Girgis told the FOX affiliate. “I see them all day, running everywhere here. Sometimes they stay across the street in the parking lot.”
Downtown Nashville has also seen an increase in the number of panhandlers, assaults, and harassment complaints in the Broadway area. The city has previously stated that they were creating a plan to help deal with the issues.
Just last month, a teen was arrested for reported stopping traffic and walking in front of moving vehicles to try and solicit money from drivers.
Metro’s Homeless Impact Division said the issue is going to take the entire community’s help to get it resolved.
A previous statement from the mayor’s office to WZTV said, “The mayor has directed significant public safety resources to devoted to the downtown area and is working closely with the Metro Homeless Impact Division (MHID) to roll out more resources to the Metro Nashville Police Department Central Precinct. In recent months, MHID has also increased its outreach staff to enable faster and more effective responses when we are seeing people experience homelessness. These new resources, at the Mayor’s request, have resulted in more people being introduced into the housing portal more frequently and given the resources they need to stay off the streets and into stable housing environments.”
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com