KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Members of the Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association met Wednesday with city leaders, the Knoxville Police Department and the UT Police Department during its monthly meeting to address concerns about safety.
Some business owners were concerned about criminal activity in the strip after a shooting there over the weekend. There have been four shootings around the Cumberland Avenue area this year.
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The meeting was held at the Copper Cellar and around 30 business owners were in attendance asking KPD and city leaders what can be done to reduce crime in the area.
Police told the merchants they have stepped up patrols and that they are actively investigating Sunday’s shooting. They say they have made arrests for the past shootings.
They suggested that business owners add more lighting to the alley. KPD also wants everyone to report crimes and suspicious activity they see. One business owner asked KPD since the shootings are happening at early in the morning and only a couple of businesses are open that late, if a business could be forced to shut down.
“If we identify any businesses that could be a causation factor we will address those in our investigations,” Capt. Don Jones said, adding that, depending on the investigation, lead to a public nuisance closure.
WATE 6 On Your Side took some of these ideas to people in the area to see what they thought. One woman who works at the McDonald’s on Cumberland Avenue said it would ease her worries.
“Just having peace of mind on being able to come to work without somebody getting attacked or robbed or shot,” said Natasha Crutcher of Knoxville.
People like Crutcher are hoping the changes will be made so they can feel more comfortable around the Cumberland Avenue area.
“I would feel a lot safer and I’m pretty sure everybody would too,” said Crutcher.
Knoxville police also warn to not be an easy target for criminals, lock your car, and be aware of your surroundings.
KPD emphasizes, however, that this is one of the safest places on the city. The Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association meets again on December 2.