Metro City Council Votes to Appropriate Millions in Funding for New Tasers for Metro Nashville Police Department

police belt with taser


Nashville Metro Council voted Tuesday night to give Metro Nashville Police Department $3.15 million dollars to fund the purchase of new tasers – far short of the $5.8 million that MNPD originally requested.

As previously reported, the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) had requested a budget for new tasers, stating that the tasers in current use are obsolete and are not reliable.

At a meeting of the COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee in early December, MNPD Deputy Chief Chris Taylor described how the review of the current state of the tasers came as a result of the department addressing how to subdue unruly suspects who were COVID-19 positive.

Deputy Chief Taylor also addressed why the tasers were obsolete, additionally stating that the company that supports the taser software, has informed MNPD that they will no longer do so because they are so old.

“Hands down, what we’ve seen over and over is that tasers are our best [non-lethal] option,” he said. “Now, getting into that, our tasers are obsolete. We were informed earlier this year that they would no longer support them as far as software. So, I give you the example of trying to run the current PCs and iPads you have Windows 3. It’s not going to work.”

At that same meeting, Deputy Chief Taylor detailed some incidents in which the tasers malfunctioned, which included a woman having a mental health crisis charging an MNPD officer with a pick ax.

The city’s COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee approved the request, which placed it in the hands of Metro Nashville Council. Then the pushback came, specifically the amount to be allocated and where the funds would come from.

Metro councilmembers Burkley Allen, Courtney Johnston, and Erin Evans differed with the manner and amount of the Metro Nashville Police Department taser funding request. Councilmember Johnston told FOX17 that she asked the city to find a different way to fund it.

“How did we get to this point of ‘oh my gosh all of a sudden, we need a whole new set of these tasers,’ when typically we plan for those things better,” said Councilmember Johnston to FOX17.

Councilmembers Allen, Johnston, and Evans found a way to fund the tasers by offering an alternative by way of a resolution, which appropriates $3,150,000 million from the Undesignated Fund Balance of the General Fund of the General Services District, but falls $1.6 million short of the Metro Nashville Police Department’s request.

When Resolution RS2022-1312, item 35 on the agenda, Councilmember Allen began by asking for the Public Health & Safety Committee vote results. It was announced that Public Health & Safety was not able to vote due to lack of a quorum.

Councilmember Allen then stated that Budget & Finance Recommended approval 7-0 and then moved for approval by the full council. The resolution was properly seconded. There was no discussion on the resolution. The resolution passed by voice vote with three no votes. Vice Mayor Schulman noted that councilmembers Sepulveda, Welsch, and Parker were the no votes. Voicemails were left for councilmembers Sepulveda and Welsch. Councilmember Parker had “no comment”.

The $3.15 million dollars that are now allocated to the Metro Nashville Police Department in Resolution RS2022-1312 was part of a total of $8,135,000 appropriated to “to certain accounts for the benefit of the Administrative Department and Metro Nashville Police Department” from the from the Undesignated Fund Balance of the General Fund of the General Services District. Other items funded in the resolution were: GSD/USD Study – $1,000,000, Enterprise Risk Management Study – $250,000, Juneteenth Holiday – Salary and Fringe – $1,500,000, R12 Technical and Process Review Analysis – $750,000, Homeless Performance Review and Recommendation Support – $500,000, Solar Strategy and Infrastructure – $635,000, NDOT Capital and Project Management System Replacement Analysis – $200,000, Knowles Home – Anthem Care – $100,000, Transpotainment/BYOB – $50,000.

It is unclear if MNPD will continue to petition the council for more funds to cover the full amount of their initial request for taser funding.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.


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  1. Randall Davidson

    Nice to know Juneteenth cost us 1.5 million every year.