Nashville Police, Community Oversight Board Unable to Create Memorandum of Understanding to Work Together


Nashville police and the Community Oversight Board are reportedly at loggerheads with talking to one another, much less working together.

As The Tennessee Star reported, Nashville voters approved a civilian oversight board over police last November.

The Star reported on the rift last month.

The rift apparently has not healed.

Nashville Public Radio (WPLN) on Thursday reported on the tension. The board and police have failed so far to create a memorandum of understanding for how they would work together.

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson told the board’s director William Weeden the memo is “cumbersome.” He created a policy saying officers are encouraged, instead of required, to work with the oversight board.

The board has been more than just skeptical of requests by police for more information.

“It’s kind of like they’re trying to do a witch hunt,” said board member and retired Nashville police officer Walter Holloway. “They’re trying to find out any information they can to try to destroy the credibility of the board here.”

James Smallwood, president of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police, on Thursday gave this statement to The Star:

The only thing I can think to add, is that we informed Mr. Weeden and the board, that the FOP intended to wait until the MOU draft was complete to offer our suggestions or thoughts. They failed to mention at that time that there would not be any additional opportunities to have discussions or have questions answered by them.

It is certainly interesting that they are complaining about the police department not attending their meetings when they themselves refuse to meet with the rank-and-file representatives of the police department. It’s a two way street.

I would also note that, as I understand it, Mr. Weeden was reprimanded by unanimous vote at yesterday’s community oversight board meeting.

I keep hearing this phrase “I don’t like the tone” from board members. It’s a professional request for information. There is no tone. It’s almost as if they believe they should not be questioned by anyone.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Nicolas Henderson. CC BY 2.0.



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6 Thoughts to “Nashville Police, Community Oversight Board Unable to Create Memorandum of Understanding to Work Together”

  1. […] time as executive director, Weeden clashed with Nashville police officers. As The Tennessee Star reported last month, these two entities failed to create a memorandum on how they would successfully work […]

  2. Pissed Off Nashvillian

    This is why rank-and-file officers refer to the Oversight Board as the “Overreach Board.”

  3. 83ragtop50

    What can one expect from such a liberal cesspool? Nashville has literally gone down the tubes.

  4. Rick

    The Minority Oversight Board is a joke. The city worries more about minorities, the LBGTQ crowd, homeless people, climate change (another joke) and immigrants than they do about the citizens that have lived here forever. We are watching the destruction of a great city!

  5. Chitown Cap

    Yep, I told you so, Nashville is going the way of Chicago with a little bit of L.A./San Fransisco/Seattle mixed in. Liberals ruin everything they touch. Here’s what’s happening or going to happen, crime will go up, your streets are starting to fill up with the homeless, the streets smell like an out house. I’ve had family come down this past summer and we’re very disappointed to see how dirty the streets and sidewalks are and the smell of urine. Way to go libs, put another notch on your “how to ruin a city belt”!!!!