Metro Council struggling to vet 159 Police Oversight Board nominees

Jan 8, 2019

Credit City of Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  -- The Metro Council is still trying to decide a process for choosing the members of the city’s police oversight board two weeks ahead of the scheduled membership vote.

In November, Metro residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of civilian oversight for Nashville Police.

The approved charter amendment allows the mayor’s office to nominate two members. The council will nominate two more. The remaining seven members are to be chosen from city residents nominated by local organizations. The council must approve all eleven.

Nashville Vice Mayor Jim Shulman tells WMOT 181 individuals initially applied for the seven community board seats. The list shrank to 159 nominees after a questionnaire eliminated some applicants who didn’t meet charter qualifications.

Shulman says the remaining nominees will appear before council subcommittee’s next week. They’ll be given ten minutes each to answer three council question.

“Why do you want to serve on the community oversight board, what’s you’re background in terms of understanding civil rights, what is your background in terms of law enforcement.”

The full Metro Council is scheduled to vote on the final board membership January 22nd. But Shulman says he’s still no sure exactly how the council will narrow 159 applicants down to a manageable number of nominees.

“I don’t forsee us voting on each and every individual. Somehow we have to obviously pare that number down to get a final group that we’re looking at.”

The charter says the full board must hold it’s first meeting by the end of January. Shulman says he’ll call special council meetings to meet that deadline if needed.