There’s a reported mass exodus of police officers in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one of the reasons cited is a civilian oversight board over the police, like what Nashville will soon have.
The Charlottesville Police Department is down nearly two dozen officers, according to that city’s The Daily Progress website.
Police administrators are having a hard time filling the vacancies. Things are so bad Police Chief RaShall Brackney told the website the department is experiencing a “mass exodus.”
“It seems like, I think, on average, one to two officers a week are leaving the department,” she said.
One of the reasons officers leave, Brackney went on to say, stems from how vocal and biased members of the initial Police Civilian Review Board act toward officers.
Members create bylaws for a future board that will provide civilian oversight of the department, according to The Daily Progress.
Brackney told the website that board members go on TV and radio and speak at marches to discuss how “officers’ days are numbered and that they’re coming after them.”
“The officers do not believe that there’s going to be any fair, impartial oversight,” Brackney said.
“It’s well-documented of how some of them have treated our officers, including me.”
The Charlottesville Police Department reportedly has 128 officers. Brackney said officers complain openly during exit interviews. They have also complained about their salaries, she said.
As for Nashville’s Community Oversight Board, The Tennessee Star said members will have access to police files and can interview officers and witnesses.
They can also send reports with recommendations about allegedly problematic officers to Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson.
Nashville-Davidson County voters approved the $10 million-plus oversight board in a referendum last year titled Amendment 1, prompting concerns from police officers.
As The Tennessee Star reported last month, the COB may receive its own oversight before it even launches.
Speaker-elect Rep. Glen Casada (R-TN-63), announced plans to study the oversight board when the Legislature convenes later this month, according to The Star.
State Rep. William Lamberth (R-TN-44), the incoming House majority leader, told Nashville Public Radio the board is redundant since there are other methods to oversee police.
Also, as The Star reported, Nashville Fraternal Order of Police members said they have serious constitutional concerns about the new board.
They said the $10 million plan is “constitutionally questionable,” doesn’t address due process, and is not set up for fact finding.
They also said the board is “set up for some means of retaliation and retribution for a problem that doesn’t exist.”
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