Staying safe in a new city

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Nashville is booming and is rated as one of the fastest growing cities in the country. While many people are excited and welcome this growth, there are just as many feeling the pressure of the changes taking place. They are looking at gentrification and the high price it brings with the possibility of relocating or finding affordable housing.

Nashville is contemplating how to provide mass transportation for an ever-growing problem with congested traffic. Yes, with growth comes a plethora of pros and cons. But hopefully Nashville will be able to provide an eclectic social menu with top rated restaurants, dynamic concert venues, multiple sport arenas covering, almost any sports and museums to spike anyone’s intellect and thirst for knowledge. But safety must be a priority.

Nashville also is known as an educational center with numerous colleges, universities and trade schools to advance one’s educational goals. It is an exciting and rewarding place to be for young millenniums enjoying the single life or people wanting a diverse neighborhood to raise a family. There will not be a loss of things to do to pike one’s interest or fulfill one’s need to be entertained. No doubt, Nashville has it going on. But one of the biggest problems one must understand is that cities undergoing rapid and substantial growth usually have a rise in crime. Unfortunately that appears to be a given.

We, as Nashvillians, must be cognizant of ways to deter or minimize crime among our communities and in our lives. With so many people in a given area, you always have a negative element seeking to prey on or take advantage of innocent people. While for the most part the people of Nashville are friendly and hospitable, one must be cautious of excessively friendly but questionable acquaintances.

New comers to the city must research and interview perspective roommates cautiously. If you have close friends you should always utilize the buddy system when you go out, especially at night. We are living in times when it is common practice to invest in a home alarm system and video cameras for one’s own personal safety and as a deterrent.

It is paramount to know your neighbors, especially if you own or live in a house or condominium. It is to one’s advantage that neighbors look out for each other, especially when one of you is away. Be vigilant of shady and suspicious people or activities occurring around your residence. If you live alone you should always let a friend or family member know your itinerary so they can check on you and be aware of who you are with and places you can be found.

No one is trying to judge or spy on your life, but during these times you can never be too safe or careful. Single people should never go out with someone they don’t feel comfortable with and literally don’t know. Never shop late at night without a partner, because some criminals target people who are single and alone.

Be leery of an atmosphere of drugs because many crimes and criminal behavior originates around excessive drug use. Illicit drug activity is a magnet for aggravated robbery and even murder. Avoid people with volatile and belligerent attitudes or who manifest unsavory and uncomfortable behaviors especially while in public. It is always a plus for young single people to adopt a circle of friends who have each other’s back.

Uber or Lyft should guarantee that no one has to drive while intoxicated or under the influence of mind altering drugs. Those living in urban or rural neighborhoods should make sure they report unsavory or suspicious activities occurring in their neighborhoods. You should actually want nosey neighbors who are descriptive in voicing what is happening around them.

Quiet neighbors who acquiesce and don’t want to be involved in what is happening around them are what criminals love and who really perpetuate crime by making the criminal feel secure and safe in knowing a neighbor or neighbors won’t tell on them. Thus, the criminal wins and you lose based on fear.

Don’t be held a prisoner by criminal elements. Empower your neighborhoods and communities by investing in each other and caring how your neighbors fare. Be an active participant in your neighborhood home or watch association. Eradicate the negative elements in your neighborhood. Form a mutual relationship with the police in your community and become vested in your own protection as well as your home and neighborhood. Crime thrives when good people do nothing out of fear. It is up to you to make your neighborhood or environment safe.