Senator Bell Files Bill To Ban State And Local Police Participation In Checkpoints By Private Contractors

Monday, January 13, 2014

State Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) filed legislation on Monday to ban state and local police from participating in traffic checkpoints conducted by private contractors in Tennessee.  

The legislation aims to stop any prospective checkpoints conducted by private research contractors, including those hired by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, from doing random checkpoint DNA tests on Tennessee drivers.  

The practice has been reported in at least 30 U.S. cities where drivers said they were pressured into providing saliva samples or to submit to a blood test.  Effected drivers claim they were forced off the road by employees of the contractor who were accompanied by local law enforcement agencies with flashing lights for a supposedly “voluntary” DNA tests.

“There is no way a non-governmental checkpoint should be allowed in Tennessee or any other state,” said Senator Bell. “They certainly should not be pulling over motorists and coercing them to submit to a test without cause. This is a gross abuse of power.”

The private contractor must have a police presence in order to effectively pull over motorists.  By banning state and local police participation, the bill would make such a random dragnet almost impossible in Tennessee. 

“This practice defies our citizens’ constitutional rights,” said Senator Bell, “not to speak of the fact that millions of dollars of public monies are being spent in this manner.”

Senator Bell represents District 9 consisting of Bradley, Meigs, Polk, McMinn and Monroe counties in the Tennessee Senate.  The legislature is set to return to Nashville to conduct business tomorrow.



Copies Of Remaining Chattanooga Photo Books Available At Zarzour's Restaurant

Remaining copies of the Chattanooga Photo books are available at Zarzours Restaurant on Rossville Avenue off Main Street. It is near Fire Hall #1. They include the Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga, and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga.  All were published by Chattanoogan.com.  and printed by College Press at Collegedale. The ... (click for more)

Daniel Johnson Gets 46-Month Federal Sentence For Cocaine Deals Using Postal Service

A Chattanooga man involved in a scheme to use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver large shipments of cocaine from California has been sentenced to serve 46 months in federal prison. Daniel Johnson, who had "not spent a day in jail" prior to his arrest in the drug case, appeared before Judge Travis McDonough. Authorities said the drugs were delivered from California in packages. ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Should Be Problem Solvers Around The City

Re: Roy Exum’s “Stay, Signal Mountain, Stay”  Well this article is something to think about. I think the split could go either way, and Signal Mountain schools would still flourish, as they have done for the past several years. What I'm worried about is why Signal Mountain has not yet had the guts to go be problem solvers at Howard, or Tyner, or Central. Why do ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How Would I Vote?

I don’t know what to think or who to believe in the debacle surrounding Alabama’s Roy Moore and his quest for a Senate seat. I have no earthly idea what he did or how he acted 40 years ago. Heck, I can’t remember what I did or how I acted 40 years ago but I do recall I kissed some minors back then. To be real honest, they were the only ones that would let me, this because I was ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Gets First Win For Coach Lamont Paris

Lamont Paris came into the post-game interview room at McKenzie Arena Thursday night with a smile on his face and he had to feel good after getting his first win as the head coach of the Chattanooga Mocs basketball team. We all know that the Mocs are the youngest team in the NCAA this fall and they had lost their first two games on the road, including an embarrassing 89-47 loss ... (click for more)

Bradley Central Opens With 49-38 Win Vs. William Blount

Bradley Central’s Bearettes opened their high school basketball season Thursday night with a 49-38 victory over William Blount in Maryville, Tennessee. Senior Rhyne Howard, a Miss Basketball finalist last season, led the Bearettes with 20 points and Kimia Carter added 12. Lexi Campos paced William Blount with 11 points. Bradley’s proud defense forced 23 turnovers, ... (click for more)