Nashville’s strategy of more traffic stops to reduce crime hasn’t worked, new Policing Project study says

Increasing traffic stops has not successfully reduced crime in Nashville, according to a highly anticipated new study that explored racial bias in Metro’s policing practices.

The key finding, outlined in a report released Monday by the Policing Project, undercuts what has for years been one of the core yet controversial strategies of the Metro Nashville Police Department: making large numbers of traffic stops in high-crime areas to reduce violence.

The Metro-commissioned study found that Nashville police conducted about 250,000 traffic stops in 2017 — about 458 stops for every 1,000 driving-age residents — more than twice the the per-capita rates of comparable cities like Raleigh, N.C., and Charlotte, N.C., and more than five times that of Austin, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio.