Be Smart. Stay Safe.
I asked Metro Police officers how to have a safe, fun time downtown. Here’s their advice.
Police vigilantly enforce all traffic laws so make sure you’re parked legally. Observe signs for loading zones, restricted parking and fire hydrants. Your parking ticket may be as little as $10 but a towing fee will cost you $100 or more.
Take a picture of the surroundings (or use a GPS app) to know where you parked your car. They told me about one man who hunted for his car for two days because he didn’t make note of the parking garage he used.
Don’t bring anything you don’t/won’t need. Extra baggage is a real hassle in a crowded bar.
If traveling in groups of four or more, keep a recurring headcount. Avoid spending time looking for each other when you could be having fun.
Designate a meet-up point in case you get separated.
Don’t travel alone, especially in less trafficked areas. Make safety a priority.
Make a note of your hotel’s name and address whether you need to find your way back to your lodging or provide it to an Uber/Lyft/cab driver.
Carry only essentials in your wallet–photo ID/driver’s license, credit card, insurance card, cash. Less to replace in case of theft.
Your photo ID is essential if you’re planning to enter a 21+ establishment and/or plan to consume alcohol.
Activate your phone tracking app. If your phone is lost or stolen, make it easier to find it.
Use the crosswalks. There are a lot of people and vehicles in motion downtown. Don’t be that jerk who tries to run across the street in the middle of the block.
Keep hydrated and fed. Yes, beer flows like water on Lower Broadway but, especially on warm days and nights, drink water and balance the booze with food. They said it’s sad how many drunks they encounter.
Know your limits–both in terms of alcohol consumption and distances you can comfortably walk. And by the way, they see a lot of people limping from turned ankles or ill-fitting boots so wear comfortable shoes.
Drugs are not your friend. The throngs of partying visitors have attracted street dealers selling a variety of illegal substances. Don’t risk it. And in case you were wondering, pot is not legal in Tennessee.
Should need arise, you can reach the MNPD by calling 615-862-8600. Remember 911 is for true emergencies including life-threatening situations and crimes in progress. Good to know: A police substation is opening soon in Garth Brooks’s Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk on Lower Broadway.
Also, be aware that local businesses have banded together to provide additional security. All individuals are certified law enforcement officers hired to heighten public safety.
If you’ve been a victim of sexual assault, call 1-615-258-5888. Get immediate, non-judgmental help from Nashville’s SAFE Clinic.