Members of Nashville’s Metro Community Oversight Board plan to help city officials find Nashville’s next police chief.
“Following Mayor John Cooper’s announcement today of Chief Steve Anderson’s decision to retire as Chief of Police, the Community Oversight Board (COB) looks forward to being involved in the selection process of the city’s next Chief of Police,” COB members said in a press release this week.
“The voice of the community must be reflected early and often during the national search and selection process, and the needs and values of the people of Nashville should be heavily considered and heard. The Community Oversight Board welcomes the invitation to be a member of the selection committee and is ready to continue the work that has been mandated by the Nashville community.”
As The Tennessee Star reported this week, Anderson will retire in likely six months’ time. Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced this at a press conference Thursday — a conference that Anderson did not attend.
Time after time, reporters at Thursday’s press conference asked Cooper if he asked Anderson to retire. Cooper did not seem to answer their questions, at least not directly.
As The Star reported last week, members of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee also called on Anderson to resign. In particular, ACLU members expressed frustration with Anderson’s alleged refusal to collaborate with the Community Oversight Board, which the city established in 2018. This, after the deaths of Jocques Clemmons and Daniel Hambrick. The board has independent authority to investigate allegations of misconduct against the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
As reported, Anderson would not meet with COB members, and that caused friction. Nashville Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) members have long said they have serious constitutional concerns about the board. FOP members have even said the board is “set up for some means of retaliation and retribution for a problem that doesn’t exist.”
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