Lee July 2

The state is leading a review of police use of force and other policies, Gov. Bill Lee said Thursday.

A 60-day review has begun and involves local and state police agencies and trade associations, Lee said during a press conference. This is a call for every local and state agency to update their policies.

There is a difference between “meaningful reform” and “meaningless” efforts like calling for defunding police. The “better way” is to have a professional, skilled police force while recognizing people’s rights.

Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings said police are in full support of the recommendations.

Participants in the effort include 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 intent of this partnership is the desire to ensure law enforcement are consistently reflecting the values of the communities they serve,” Lee said in a press release.

Specific details include:

  • Use of Force policies should be reviewed and updated to ensure choke holds are not used as a restraining technique.
  • 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 Peace Officers Standards & Training Commission will make the National Decertification Index more accessible to all law enforcement agencies in Tennessee. The index is a national registry that tracks officers who have lost licenses or certificates due to misconduct.
  • The Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy will now require enhanced curriculum, including increasing minimum hours from 400 to 488 and include training for de-escalation, duty to intervene, public assembly interaction and emphasizing positive community interaction.

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