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.