To combat increasing violent crime and improve services, the Clarksville Police Department has implemented new programs aimed at the city’s youth, mental health services, and in-house health and wellness to better help officers serve the public.
In recognition of these concerted efforts made by CPD, the Tennessee Municipal League (TML) announced this week that it “is pleased to present Clarksville with an award for Excellence in Police Services.”
The award will be presented Tuesday, July 25, at the TML 83rd Annual Conference held at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.
Under the professional leadership of Clarksville Police Chief David Crockarell, CPD has made a calculated and strong investment in both officers and how they serve the community.
"The professionalism of the officers and civilian staff of the Clarksville Police Department is what makes this department excel in providing a service to the citizens of Clarksville. It is very much a team effort," said Chief Crockarell. "The department is honored to have been both considered, and ultimately selected, for the prestigious statewide award," he said.
Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said the award joins a long list of reasons why he is proud of CPD, and its guidance under Chief Crockarell.
"The Award of Excellence from the Tennessee Municipal League is further proof our department is outstanding in every way,” Mayor Pitts said. “Chief David Crockarell is providing excellent leadership, and the women and men who are in the department care deeply about public safety and building on the positive relationships we enjoy with our citizens.
“I am proud of the Clarksville Police Department and believe this recognition is well-deserved,” Mayor Pitts said.
As Clarksville continues to rapidly grow, the prevention and prosecution of violent crime have become of primary concern for the public. To proactively tackle this issue, the department has created a Juvenile Engagement Team (JET), a new Intelligence Unit, and a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT).
The JET program is part of a United States Department of Justice hiring grant that has served 155 middle school students, and reaches out to athletic leagues, teen Citizen Police Academies, and after-school and summer activities, to provide violence prevention services and youth justice diversion for young offenders.
The new Intelligence Unit combines a crime analyst and a detective to use data to perform complex, multi-agency investigations allowing data and technology to help in complicated investigations.
The CIT unit now totals 41 officers and three civilian staff members equipped to identify and respond to incidents involving mental health issues, prioritizing the safety of citizens and responding officers in these situations.
Additionally, 65 area students have also been trained in CIT practices by the department during youth outreach programs.
Plus, CPD has implemented a wellness program to address both the physical and mental health of officers. This department provides resources for officers including an in-house wellness counselor.
The department is on track to receive its fifth Advanced Accreditation Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2024, following its last award in 2020. CPD will also receive its third Accreditation Award from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation Program in 2024.
The department opened its third precinct in 2021 with plans for a fourth to open in 2024.
As a result of these efforts, Clarksville has seen both its violent crime rate decrease in recent years, and a lower crime rate than comparatively-sized cities in the state.
Each year TML honors cities throughout the state for overall excellence, improvement, specific outstanding programs, or department accomplishments.
Founded in 1940 and based in Nashville, TML serves as the voice of, and advocate for, Tennessee’s 345 towns and cities.