“The people of Nashville have spoken,” said Mayor David Briley on Twitter in response to voter support for the formation of a community oversight board.
The measure, known as Amendment 1, will create a board to investigate claims of police misconduct, arrests and other issues involving Metro police.
The final vote was 58.78% for and 41.22 against passing Amendment 1.
Mayor David Briley had said that he was in favor of police oversight but did not agree with the language of this specific referendum.
He also said that if voters approve it, he will implement it right away. Something he reiterated in a statement on election night.
“I will start by meeting with involved parties as early as next week,” said Mayor Briley. “I have always asserted that civilian oversight is essential to ensuring that we have a 21st-century approach to policing. Thankfully best practices exist to help us chart a path forward, and I will do all I can to help ensure the Community Oversight Board is successful.”
After the vote became clear, the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police released the following statement:
Today, after months of public debate, the voters of Nashville have made their decision to implement a civilian oversight board of the police. While the Fraternal Order of Police remains firm in its belief that this board will only create a divide between law enforcement and the public, we recognize that the voters have spoken, and we will respect the rule of law and the will of the people we serve.
The endorsement of Amendment one to create an oversight board does nothing to undermine the professionalism that Nashvillians have come to know from their police officers and – although the FOP still believes that an expensive oversight board is an unnecessary redundancy that we simply cannot afford – we intend to work with the administration as it seeks to implement the amendment in the coming months. Excluding the perspective of those who are on the front lines every day would do a disservice to both our members and the community at large.
However, we, like thousands of Nashville voters, have very sincere concerns about the many flaws that exist in the language of this legislation as written. While it is our intention to respect the rule of law and work with the administration as they implement this new legislation, we fully intend to stand alongside our members and ensure that their rights are preserved, they deserve nothing less. The men and women of the MNPD are professional and are held to one of the highest levels of accountability in the nation. Today’s results do not reflect otherwise. Nor do they alter the fact that these men and women will continue to put their lives in harm’s way to serve the entire Nashville community.
Moving forward, the Fraternal Order of Police recognizes that there is a segment of the community that seeks to improve trust in the police. As law enforcement officers, and members of this community, we will endeavor to find a way to improve those relationships and to help us work together, with ALL our communities, to achieve a safe and peaceful Nashville for everyone. We look forward to future discussions about policing strategies in Nashville and hope that, through sincere and meaningful dialogue, we can continue to accomplish the goals that will bring us closer together as a community.
News 2 is your election headquarters. We will update this story with vote totals when they come in.