A police force for Forest Hills?

Friday, April 17, 2009 at 6:35pm

The Forest Hills city commission voted at its Thursday meetings to begin negotiations with the city of Belle Meade to add its own police force.

The proposed 9-member police force would operate under the Belle Meade Police, but would be fully funded by Forest Hills. Negotiations between the two Davidson County municipalities are ongoing.

In addition to creating its own police force, Forest Hills would construct a new city hall to house the police department and city administration offices. The proposed city hall site would be at the intersection of Old Hickory Boulevard and Hillsboro Road. Currently, Forest Hills has a 50-year lease on the property, which is owned by Nashville Electric Services.

Forest Hills commissioner Tim Douglas said the impetus for a new police force was to improve response time and to have officers specifically in place to deal with issues in the small wealthy town.

Currently Forest Hills is patroled by Metro Police.

“I would say it’s something that over time’s been brewing because whenever there’s an incident in Forest Hills, if it’s a break-in or something of that nature, it seems like the response time has been very slow,” Douglas said, adding that a Forest Hills police force would be able to address specific concerns like unwanted solicitors.

Funding the police force and building the city hall will come from Forest Hills reserves, which Douglas said are healthy enough to finance the projects. Building the city hall is contingent on approving the agreement with Belle Meade.

Additionally, Forest Hills Police would use the Belle Meade City Courts to hear its cases, Douglas said.


4 Comments on this post:

By: dick658 on 4/17/09 at 6:37

Forrest Hills don't like Metro Police or their courts? What are they afraid they will turn into another Hickory Hollow? Come on now they pay far more property tax than the average resident of Inglewood or Madison don't they. Why do they get to choose another Police Dept. to respond to their needs? Hey Charlotte Park do you want Lakewood Police to respond to your calls for service? Is Metro doing such a good job and running the criminals from inner city to the white stocking district? Well you get what you pay for don't you?

By: frank brown on 4/18/09 at 6:16

There is so much profit in traffic violiations that this is the main motivation for the people of Forrest Hills. This police force will offer some but very little actual police protection but the profit from traffic violations(speeding) will make this a profit making department.

By: Time for Truth on 4/18/09 at 10:44

There are really two motivations. One of course is the ability to operate a speed trap with money going to the city. The other is the 'caretaker police force' angle. Generally in wealthy communities there are two sets of rules, one for residents and one for 'outsiders'. A resident might get a warning for going 70mph on Hillsboro Pike, an 'outsider' a ticket for driving at 56. A resident stopped driving drunk might get a ride home. Not saying that this is what will happen, but it's happened elsewhere. I've even seen police officers in wealthy communities elsewhere acting as parking lot attendants for private parties.

By: arkay61 on 4/20/09 at 4:23

Wow T4T, you encapsulated the whole story in a single paragraph. Well done.