Governor Lee announces law enforcement reform partnership with state agencies

Tennessee News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Governor Bill Lee is announcing a partnership between state agencies in a joint effort to address use of force and duty to intervene policies across those agencies.

The partnership is between the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association and the Peace Officer Standards & Training Commission

The goal is to enhance policies, improve information sharing and increase officer training.

“The intent of this partnership is the desire to ensure law enforcement are consistently reflecting the values of the communities they serve,” said Gov. Lee. “Tragic, preventable events across the nation have challenged us all to confront the difference between law enforcement and police brutality and also challenged us to examine troubling, inconsistent citizen experiences with law enforcement. I am proud of our law enforcement agencies for spearheading efforts to ensure Tennesseans’ rights, dignity and humanity be at the forefront of policing.”

Law enforcement agencies across the state will review and update Use of Force and Duty to Intervene policies over the next 60 days. The state says Use of Force policies should be reviewed and updated to ensure chokeholds are not used as a restraining technique. The state also says Duty to Intervene policies should be reviewed and updated to require officers to act to prevent or stop any act, even by officers, that violates law or policy.

“The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security looks forward to supporting local agencies in the review of policies,” said Commissioner Jeff Long. “The Tennessee Highway Patrol has recently conducted a thorough review of its Use of Force Policy in comparison with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, State and Provincial Academy Directors, and National Tactical Officers Association. The department’s policies go above and beyond the recommendations for established guidelines and we advocate for this approach across Tennessee.”Improved Information Sharing

The Peace Officers Standards & Training Commission will make the National Decertification Index more accessible to all law enforcement agencies in Tennessee. The National Decertification Index is a national registry that tracks officers who have lost licenses or certificates due to misconduct.

The Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, under the direction of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, will now require an enhanced curriculum in the training of state, county, and local law enforcement officials. Increasing minimum curriculum hours from 400 to 488 to formalize the current practice of completing 88 additional hours of training and study hours.

They will also be updating the curriculum to include relevant community-oriented policing concepts in both lecture and hands-on scenarios. No fewer than sixteen (16) course hours designed specifically to train officers on the following topics. The POST Commission will also require a total of eight hours of annual in-service training on these topics.

  • De-escalation techniques
  • Officer’s duty to intervene
  • Public assembly interaction
  • Emphasizing positive community and officer interactions and relationships

“We look forward to working with law enforcement partners to continue to provide highly professional, world-class training through our Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy,” said Commissioner Hodgen Mainda. “Training enhancements will ensure our force is one of the best in the nation.”

More information about the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy is available here.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of community unrest across Middle Tennessee:

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