Community Oversight Board on the Ballot in November

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Early voting starts Wednesday and residents in Metro-Nashville will have more to consider than who will be the next Governor or U.S. Senator. 

Voters will decide if there will be a Community Oversight Board, which in part, would investigate complaints made by the public against Metro Nashville police officers.  

Knoxville and Memphis have similar boards. 

If passed, the board will be a function of Metro government and will be funded by taxpayers. It will be made up of by 11 people, nominated by the mayor, community organizations and the council. 

Members should have knowledge of criminal justice and civil rights issues and should be neutral. They can’t be current or recently retired police officers or elected officials.  Each person would have to be approved by the council. 

The COB lists its goal as exercising quote, “democratic accountability and disciplinary control over the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD).” A spokesperson for the groups says the COB would come up with recommendations for discipline and that the police department would have the final call. 

Board members would be volunteers but there would be a staff. The estimated budget is $1.8 million but Metro Council would have to approve that figure and allocate money.  

Rules and regulations of the board would also have to be approved by the council. 

To read to proposed legislation and learn more about the COB, click here

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