If Nashville voters say yes to a referendum to create a community oversight board over police then, long-term, many officers will feel less valued and they will resign, said Metro Nashville Council member Steve Glover.
“They (the officers) will leave us. They will say bye. They already have a hard-enough job,” Glover told The Tennessee Star.
“I’m not just talking about police. I am talking about first responders. Everyone. They will say bye because we apparently don’t appreciate them. I do appreciate them, but if we keep pushing and pushing and pushing as we are doing now then this is a dangerous place to go.”
As reported, this proposed oversight board, assuming the referendum passes, would have 11 members. Seven of those members would come from any part of Davidson County. The remaining four would come from Nashville’s economically distressed communities.
Board members could only recommend what the police chief should do, said Theeda Murphy, spokeswoman for Community Oversight Now, which pushed for the referendum.
“The board will not discipline anybody,” Murphy told The Star.
“Every avenue of due process already available will still be available.”
Metro Nashville Council members get to decide who serves, Murphy said.
Murphy said she and other people modeled the community oversight board after one in Oakland, Calif.
Local community organizers will most likely participate, Murphy said.
If Glover ever should select a board member, he said he will seek out someone who is fiscally responsible and does not overstep boundaries.
But Glover still said he does not support the concept of a board.
“They are not elected by the people to represent the people,” Glover said.
“There is the council and the mayor’s office. We already have community oversight. That is the part that has confused me from the very beginning. Why do we need another component that costs us $1.8 million? It makes no sense.”
As reported, Nashville Fraternal Order of the Police spokesman James Smallwood said Metro Nashville officials already hold police to the highest standards of professionalism.
Smallwood said the board is unnecessary.
Glover added to that and said the people who want the board are not on the front lines every day.
“Until you ride with these folks and go out with a police car or on a fire truck then you don’t understand what they have to do,” Glover said.
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