Police Chief Phil Hardison recently spoke about Franklin and the principal issues facing the city regarding law enforcement. According to the Chief, the city is battling a violent crime wave and cites two key contributors to this wave: elevated teen pregnancy and high school dropout rates. However, the main problem in Chief Hardison’s mind is drugs, both the demand and sales.
Hardison has an extensive history in law enforcement in Franklin. Before becoming chief of police in 2004, he worked undercover where he learned first-hand about the drug trade in Franklin. The perspectives he learned working drug cases help him today as chief of police.
Not being one to hide from problems, Chief Hardison will be the first to acknowledge that the City of Franklin is facing issues with crimes. And his plan is simple: face it head-on.
According to Hardison, the main priority of the department is to provide and maintain a safe community for residents, and they are taking steps to do just that.
One of their focuses is crime prevention. They believe that by concentrating enough efforts on prevention, they will be able to reduce the crime rate effectively. Through programs on drug and gang awareness and crime in general, the department regularly reaches out to the community to achieve its crime reduction goals.
Hardison believes that this interaction between the police and the community helps create many positive outcomes. One of them was that the people of the community get to know their police force better through outreach programs, and this fosters a sense of trust between the people and the police. It also helps provide a deterrent from crime.
Hardison was recently asked about his staff and their need to improve. His response shows that he not only trusts the officers and other employees under his control but that he also respects them as professionals. He responded that he was confident in his force’s dedication to self-improvement, as well as its dedication to the city and its citizens.
More than anything, Hardison believes that the answer to effective law enforcement lies in the relationship between officers and the community. According to Hardison, the police need to be seen as problem solvers and servants ready to give what it takes to help and protect the community.
The chief says it is imperative that his officers have a mindset of service. He knows that the community goes to the police for help and service, and his officers are trained to provide it.
When trust is truly established between the community and the police, according to Hardison, then law enforcement efforts will advance, and the community will be safer. Citizens will feel comfortable calling on the police to help them with their problems instead of being afraid to pick up the phone.
Currently, the Franklin Police Department is short a couple of officers. Chief Hardison addressed this recently by saying he fully expects to have the Franklin Police Force operating at full capacity by the end of the year.
That being said, Chief Hardison will not just hire anyone to fill the empty slots. He wants candidates who are genuinely concerned about the welfare of the people of his city and are ready to serve and protect at all costs.
Hardison has repeatedly acknowledged the crime problems facing Franklin and has stated on numerous occasions that the Franklin PD is taking steps to get things under control. Although he stresses the need for community involvement in law enforcement efforts, he knows that the job of keeping the community safe ultimately rests with him and his officers and staff.
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