Nashville city employees might soon have the authority to give citations during public health emergencies.
Metro Nashville At-Large Council member Steve Glover told The Tennessee Star Wednesday that it’s “the stupidest idea I have ever seen in my life.”
Yet Metro Council members may soon explore such a proposal.
“I think we are putting our employees in a very awkward position. And one that I think is far too dangerous to place them in. I am very concerned about the liability for the city as a whole. What happens to that individual who is a city worker who goes out and gets a little too ambitious with it and they pick the wrong person that gets mad? And then that person either beats the fire out of them or does something terrible to them?” Glover asked.
“I just don’t think we’re thinking this all the way through. I think we are thinking way too shallow on it. And I’m very very concerned. I think it’s a terrible, terrible idea.”
None of the other 40 Metro Council members returned The Star’s request for comment Wednesday. Staff for Nashville Mayor John Cooper also did not return our message.
According to Nashville Public Radio, Cooper might “have more flexibility to give enforcement authority to city departments other than the police.”
“If the Metro Council approves, more Metro staffers could give out civil citations,” the station reported.
“One of the mayor’s top advisors, Mike Jameson, told the council there have been recent moments when the law would have come in handy.”
Glover told The Star that local governments train and commission police officers to do this work for a reason — that’s what they’re trained to do.”
“My Constituents are mad. They cannot believe the government is reaching this way. You know what my base is. If you want to find a way to tick them off, well, I’m trying to figure out what is left. We have raised their taxes massively. We have talked about wanting to defund the police. Thank God we haven’t,” Glover said.
“Now we are saying we will expand government even more. There is nothing about this that your conservatives and even moderates [like]. Frankly, they are thinking ‘Have you lost your minds up there?’ and the answer to that is yes, apparently we have.”
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