Haslam announces next phase in plan to make state safer

The next phase of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s multi-year, comprehensive action plan to aid in making Tennessee safer was announced last week.

To date, the state’s overall crime rate has seen a decrease of 14.8 percent since 2010, according to data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

“Our overall crime rate is going down, but there is still much to do,” Haslam said. “Keeping Tennesseans safe is one of state government’s primary responsibilities. Safer communities are a significant part of making Tennessee the best place to live, work and raise a family, and this next phase of our public safety action plan will build on the progress we’ve made and take on the challenges we still face.”

The announcement serves as a continuation of a strategy first implemented in 2012 that includes several action steps recommended by the governor’s Sentencing and Recidivism Task Force.

The three-year plan, which will be carried out by the governor’s Public Safety Subcabinet, includes changes in the sentencing structure, as well as a smarter use of prison beds for serious offenders and more effective alternatives for other offenders. The plan also includes prevention and intervention methods meant to reduce the number of offenders and repeat offenders, as well as steps to provide greater assistance to victims of crime. Additionally, the plan places an emphasis on homeland security, which aids in ensuring the safety of the state and its citizens.

“This will become our roadmap for the next three years as we continue to concentrate the efforts of our various departments and agencies on improving public safety,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.