Ordinance prevents hiring Metro officers previously fired for use of force

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) – Police reform is back up for discussion for Metro Council after weeks of protests calling for change.

There was a close vote in support of an ordinance that impacts the Metro Nashville Police Department’s hiring policies. Several protests have been held in Nashville recently calling for changes within the police department.

“I just wanted the people to know that they were heard. The biggest issue with the community and law enforcement is the matter of trust,” said Metro Council Member Sharon Hurt.

Council moved forward with a bill that prohibits MNPD from hiring officers who were previously fired or under investigation by another law enforcement agency for use of force.

“I don’t think any of us – and the police department as well – want to hire somebody under these standards. We’re looking for top quality people here,” said Council Member Russ Pulley.

Council Member Hurt said after having conversations with Metro Police, the department is comfortable with the bill moving forward with an amendment to replace the word ‘exonerate’ with ‘no finding of wrongdoing related to the accusation.’

“The intent by filing the ordinance obviously impacted the police to the point that they were willing to accept it and offer the amendment for me to accept so we both came to that conclusion and I think that’s the beauty of what it is that we do,” Hurt said.

One council member was concerned about the measure being an ordinance versus a resolution.

“In this particular format of the ordinance it could be challenged in court and I just don’t think it’s necessary to do that,” said Council Member Courtney Johnston.

Bill BL2020-322

The bill passed its second reading with 19 yes votes, 18 no votes, and one council member abstained.

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