NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Crime committed by kids is on the mind of Metro Police Chief John Drake.
“I’m seeing 10, 11, 12-year-olds in stolen cars at two or three in the morning. Those stolen cars have weapons in them,” says Drake.
Many, he says, have intent to do harm, these kids are looking to commit crimes. With those guns, that’s their first recourse. That’s what they want to use.”
Roughly 3,000 guns, and about the same number of cars, are stolen every year in Nashville, according to Chief Drake.
“These kids, they have a vehicle now they can drive around town, and they have a weapon. They’re not isolated to a geographical block somewhere. They can go anywhere in the city and commit crime.”
It’s become a problem bigger than police can handle alone. “We can’t arrest our way out of this. It’s going to take a movement of people.”
People, Drake says, willing to be part of the change.
“What bothers me a little bit is when we had the 3-year-old that was murdered and there was no outcry. But you have an officer, even an allegation of an officer, committing a crime we want to hold them accountable. And it’s ok to hold us accountable. But why not an outcry for that? Why not march for this 3-year-old? Why not say this is enough?”
Chief Drake hopes community engagement will help kids caught up in crime. “I’ve asked for all hands on deck. We want people to know who we are, to get to know them.”
He hopes reform can happen before it’s too late. “I had a conversation recently with an 18-year-old.
I asked him do you think you’ll be around at age 19. And he said, I don’t think so. He’s not sure he’ll even be around in the next few months with the lifestyle. That was disheartening.”
He’s calling on the community to take action.