Nashville has a long and admirable history regarding civil rights—a series of Freedom Rides originated from the city and lunch counter sit-ins were resolved with community support for desegregation. But recent events have caused racial tensions to resurface. These tensions have been exacerbated by the city’s boom, which has led to gentrification and displacement of affordable housing. These recent events pose a challenge, but Nashville has a strong tradition of addressing such matters of social concern through civic leadership and public involvement. To that end, Mayor Megan Barry invited the Policing Project to work with all segments of Nashville around the common goal of strengthening policing and community.
Our initial work will focus on working with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) to assess the efficacy of proactive traffic stops. With MNPD's cooperation, the Policing Project will perform the nation’s first full cost-benefit analysis of traffic stops, including not only whether such stops influence crime rates, but also the costs of such stops, such as impact on community trust and on individuals stopped (racial, psychological, dignitary harms).