In an interview with News4 Tuesday, Smith called for more police protection non Lower Broadway. “If they get jammed up somewhere else, some of those 40 officers have to go to another part of town and we’re trying to help them employ more officers that make this here their main job. Working downtown in that corridor every night seven nights a week.” “We’re looking to get these people off the street. Let them know that downtown Nashville, that is our foyer,” Tootsie’s owner Steve Smith said. “That the front door to our businesses is Broadway and we can’t have it go on any longer.”
News4 checked crime statistics at the Central Police Precinct. Year-to-year, street robbers were up by four, aggravated assault by 21, residential burglaries doubled, from 12 to 24, and commercial burglaries were down by 8.
Smith is part of a Downtown coalition of business owners who advocated to increase sales tax in the Downtown Core from a quarter cent to half a cent for the Business Development Fund, established in 2009, and dedicate the revenue to downtown safety and cleanliness. Part of that money will go specifically to increased law enforcement. “Local criminals have been taking advantage of downtown Broadway and taking advantage of our tourists,” Smith said.
“I hope we can clean up the street sand I hope we continue bringing the tourists here because we’ve been really successful at it,” Smith said.
The tax will not apply to the following:
Professional servicesLodging provided to transientsTickets to sporting events or other live ticketed eventsAlcoholic beverages which are subject to the liquor by the drink taxNewspapers and other publicationsOvernight and long-term parking
The funds will be used as follows:
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Immediate supplemental resources to provide for additional police, fire and emergency services to contribute to a safe and secure environment and respond to incidents in the downtown coreAn expanded fleet of experienced Downtown Ambassadors, who will train alongside Metro Nashville Police Department officers to implement public safety strategies such as regular patrols, education, collaboration and enforcement to protect community membersCleaning programs to adequately address chronic issues like trash and graffiti, and provide more street cleaning servicesBeautification in high visibility outdoor areas to encourage residents and visitors to spend more time enjoying the enhanced environment
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