After an analysis of Nashville traffic stops showed they don’t effectively stop crime, Mayor David Briley says his only next step is to put together the Community Oversight Board that voters demanded. But activists say the mayor doesn’t need to wait to get the ball rolling.
Briley says he wants to hear input from residents before making changes to how Nashville police operate — so
he intends to wait for the Community Oversight Board, which won’t be functional until March or later.
In order to make sure we have community input into the changes that are needed in our community, we need to get them up and running,” said Briley.
But, Theeda Murphy, a police reform activist, says Briley doesn’t need a board to hear what people think now.
“The mayor and the police chief can go to the community at any time. There’s nothing stopping them from doing that,” said Murphy.
“They can start developing the policy. They do not need to wait for the board to be implemented to do that.”
Murphy says the board’s role is mainly to suggest changes to existing policies — not to create new ones. And, she says the board will be busy reviewing public complaints and conducting investigations.
But Briley says Nashville voters have spoken. They want a board. And, he has a full plate getting it ready on time.
“Just to get it up and running in March, we have already taken action,” said Briley. “We’ll be under incredible pressure just to get that done.”