Governor Bill Lee on Thursday convened the Law Enforcement Training Advisory Council to discuss progress on improving information sharing and increasing officer training, amid a national surge in violent crime.
“As we continue to see a wave of violent crime across the country, we are committed to providing law enforcement the tools and resources they need to keep our communities safe,” said Gov. Lee. “The policies that are being implemented from this group will ensure our law enforcement officials are effectively protecting and serving all Tennesseans.”
The Law Enforcement Training Advisory Council was formed from the Law Enforcement Reform Partnership launched in July 2020 with the purpose of advising on developments in policing needs and training best practices. The council consists of law enforcement agency stakeholders, members of the General Assembly, community leaders, and subject matter experts.
Attendees of Thursday’s meeting include Carter Lawrence, Commerce & Insurance Commissioner; Jennifer Peck, Commerce & Insurance Chief of Staff; Brian Grisham, Director of TLETA; Colonel Matt Perry, THP; Brad Nealon, Deputy Director of TBI; Donna Turner, Director of Dept of Corrections; Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. of Shelby County; Sheriff Jeff Cassidy of Sullivan County; Chief Steve Isbell of Dyersburg; Chief John Drake of Metro Nashville PD; Chief CJ Davis of Memphis PD; Harold Love, Jr., State Representative, Nashville; Dawn White, State Senator, Murfreesboro; and Dr. Keith Norman, First Baptist Church, Memphis.
“I’m proud to welcome two of our state’s new outstanding leaders, Nashville Police chief John Drake and Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis,” said Gov. Lee. “This group brings a high level of expertise, and I appreciate receiving an update on public safety at the community level.”
Following the initial recommendations made in September 2020, key progress highlights include:
- To date, 29 cadets have been trained at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy at no cost to their departments through a program specifically intended to assist rural and economically impacted communities.
- The POST Commission has updated its rules to require that every new officer receive no less than 16 course hours designed to train officers on the important topics of de-escalation, officer’s duty to intervene, public assembly interaction, and emphasizing positive community and officer interactions and relationships.
- Law enforcement agencies across Tennessee have begun tracking officers’ community involvement, and beginning in 2022, officers will receive in-service training credit for positive non-enforcement interaction between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), in 2020, despite higher-than-average crime rates, both property and violent crime rates fell for the third consecutive year. This group will work to ensure Tennessee continues this progress and keeps our communities safe. The complete TBI 2020 Crime in Tennessee Report can be viewed here.