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.


Tennessee State Trooper Resigns In Lieu Of Termination

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott announced   Friday   that a Tennessee state trooper in the Fall Branch District resigned from the department in lieu of termination following an internal investigation into an arrest on domestic assault charges. The Johnson City Police ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAHMED, ALEC HARRIS     8914 QUAIL RUN DRIVE CHATTANOOGA, 374210000     19     Hamilton County          VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF     AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL TRESSPASS BAKER, SARAH CAITLYN     1423 CYPRESS ... (click for more)

You’re Right With Lamar

One of Tennessee’s favorite sons, Davy Crockett, coined an oft-used phrase:  “Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead.” Being sure is quite important, but may be difficult in this election cycle. The Democratic nominee campaigning against Lamar Alexander is a man whose radio ads call for “change,” “fair” taxes and more jobs.  Sounds good, huh?   ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Okay … here we go. A number of readers have complained that I haven’t shared any jokes that my friends send to my email address so on a weekend when our Volunteers and Mocs are idle, let’s laugh a little:   I was sitting in a bar one afternoon with an old friend knocking back a few beers when he said, "You know, if we're not careful we'll end up like those two old drunks ... (click for more)

McCallie Beats Baylor In Tennessee Classic Silver Division

NASHVILLE – Reed Oscar was the overall winner in 16 minutes, 49 seconds and teammate Dylan Carmack finished fifth overall in 17 minutes, 13 seconds to lead the McCallie Blue Tornado cross country team to a first-place finish in the Silver division of the Tennessee Classic, which was held here at Percy Warner Park Saturday morning. Teammates Connor Smith and Kevin Wagoner finished ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Golf Team Second At Wolf Run Intercollegiate

The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team is tied for second after 18 holes at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate. The Mocs and Florida Gators each shot 295 over the opening 18 to trail Illinois by 11 at 285 at Wolf Run Golf Club. The day’s docket had a scheduled 36 holes. Afternoon storms sent teams from the course prior to finishing. The remaining holes will be completed starting at 9:30 ... (click for more)