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.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BANTHER, WILLIAM DEWAYNE  HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37405  Age at Arrest: 59 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County PROBATION VIOLATION (EVADING ARREST) --- BOHANNON, HENRY CHRISTOPHER  1915 SANDER DRIVE CLEVELAND, 37323  Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County ... (click for more)

Bradley County Detectives Seek Information On Man Caught On Surveillance Video

Detectives are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a man captured on surveillance footage. On March 25, patrol deputies responded to AirSystems Unlimited, which is a local business located at 5668 South Lee Highway, in reference to a vehicle burglary. It was discovered a cell phone and car battery were taken out of a company vehicle which was in the parking lot. ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oh Yes, I Loved West

One of my most beloved friends died early Saturday morning at the age of 67. Then again, West Oehmig’s only brother – King – died a couple of years ago at 63 so it wasn’t by happenstance I remembered Abraham Lincoln’s famous line: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Here are two brothers who lived larger than any other pair I can ... (click for more)

Central's Parrott Throttles Ooltewah With 1-Hit Shutout

Ooltewah looked like it was still on spring break. Central was sharp, Brooke Parrott dazzling, Mikayla Gill swung the bat well and the Lady Pounders played like an unbeaten, once-tied ballclub. Parrott threw a one-hit shutout – the hit was a wind-blown pop on the infield – and Gill slapped a two-run double off Kayla Boseman to right-center field in the third inning and ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Thumps Bledsoe Co., 11-1

The Notre Dame baseball team was in a race of a different kind Monday evening and the Fighting Irish came out on top in all three categories. Facing the Bledsoe County Warriors at Notre Dame’s Hunter Field, the Irish beat the rain, they got finished before dark and most importantly, beat the Warriors 11-1 in five innings as they improved to 4-2 overall with the same record in ... (click for more)