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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