Nominations to Serve on Nashville’s Controversial Police Oversight Board Expected to Increase As Deadline Approaches

Nominations to serve on Nashville’s new police oversight board are due in two weeks.

While a handful of people have come forward, numerous community groups plan to submit more names, and across a wide spectrum, Nashville Public Radio says.

Several organizations that fought to create the board say they’re preparing nominees, and if there are dozens of names, the Metro Council could hold special meetings to vet them before voting in an 11-person panel before the end of January.

“If there are a lot of names, then we will figure out how to winnow that down,” said Theeda Murphy with Community Oversight Now, which advocated for the board’s creation.

But even opponents, like the Fraternal Order of Police, are considering who could represent their views. President James Smallwood acknowledged that the board doesn’t allow current law enforcement to serve.

“Former law enforcement, people that understand the law — so those would be attorneys — people that are or have been exposed to the way that officers are trained,” Smallwood said.

One day after the vote, Smallwood said in an emailed statement it’s important this coming board not exclude the perspectives of law enforcement officers, The Tennessee Star reported.

As reported, FOP members previously said they have serious constitutional concerns over it. They said the $10 million plan is “constitutionally questionable,” doesn’t address due process, and is not set up for fact finding.

They’ve even said the board is “set up for some means of retaliation and retribution for a problem that doesn’t exist.”

“Although the FOP still believes that an expensive oversight board is an unnecessary redundancy that we simply cannot afford – we intend to work with the administration as it seeks to implement the amendment in the coming months,” Smallwood said.

There’s also interest from groups that have not been directly involved in forming the board, Nashville Public Radio said. The nonprofit You Have The Power, which aids victims of crime, didn’t take a side in the election but is interested now.

Some individuals have applied, from an IT worker to a lawyer to a former owner of an independent bookstore.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.

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5 Thoughts to “Nominations to Serve on Nashville’s Controversial Police Oversight Board Expected to Increase As Deadline Approaches”

  1. Habu

    This board should never exist. However it is here so we must deal with it. Suggestions to whom should be on the board.
    1. Chief of Police
    2. Retired Law enforcement officers. (ie. FBI, U.S. Marshall, Police Officers, etc.)
    3. Non political civilian, preferably a small business owner
    4.The board should have minority representation.
    5.It should NOT have ANY PROFESSIONAL POLITICIANS whether retired or active.
    6.The Mayor nor anyone in his administration (except for the Chief of Police) must not be on the board. (The Chief of Police MUST be on the board for proper representation of his officers.)
    The board cannot be made up entirely with people that have no LEO background. They have no idea what it’s like to walk up to a vehicle with blacked out windows, at midnight on a deserted street not knowing what you are going to face.
    This could be a good thing for the police if done properly. If not done properly…………?

  2. Proud Nashvillian

    It will be staffed by cop haters. Why isn’t there a board to oversee all the criminals killing each other?

  3. Wolf Woman

    What is sickening is that the people of this city voted for this ridiculous plan which discriminates against representation of certain areas in Nashville.

    Is it “constitutionally questionable?” Yes. Will it demoralize our Metro LE? Yes. Will it lead to more pandering to criminals and a city that is less safe? Yes. Will it lead to tax increases on the poor and middle class? Yes.

    Nashvillians bought this “progressive” nightmare. Now buyers beware.

  4. Rick

    Pro Police all the way. This board makes a difficult job harder. The people that are behind this board have set it up to attack the police. Sad day for the city when this was passed

  5. Rick

    This board should be titled THE PRO CRIMINAL BOARD. The police have to deal with these criminals every day and Mayor Snowflake has allowed the criminals once again to have a stronger voice than the police. Really sickening and we have to pay for it.