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Community Oversight Board Approves Immigration Enforcement Policy Advisory Report

4/16/2020
Brensey Thompson, 615-880-1885

At a dedicated meeting on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, The Community Oversight Board (COB) unanimously voted to approve its first policy advisory report with recommendations on local law enforcement policies relevant to immigration enforcement actions. Next, the Board will submit the report to Chief Steve Anderson in hopes that he, his administration, and other appropriate agencies will adopt the recommendations in order to improve the relationship between the MNPD and Nashville’s immigrant community.

As stated in its charter, the COB has the power to issue policy advisory reports and recommendations to agencies involved in public safety and the administration of justice in Nashville and Davidson County. The COB is proud of the hard work that has been put forth into its inaugural policy advisory report and looks forward to collaborating with the MNPD on the implementation of its recommendations.

"The issuance of the COB's first policy advisory report is an important milestone for the city of Nashville and the positive progress expected of this Board,” says Board Chair Ashlee Davis. “Real and sustainable change only happens when collaborative efforts are high and the right research is done to ensure that the right solutions are being offered, and this policy advisory report is a great example of what the people of Nashville are capable of when their voices and experiences are uplifted. The COB’s intentional focus on the examination of local law enforcement policies and immigration enforcement actions is vital to the safety and security of all and it is important that the COB continue to purposefully extend its efforts and expertise to improving the relationship that local law enforcement has with marginalized communities.”

COB Vice Chair Andrés Martinéz requested the policy advisory report following multiple high-profile immigration enforcement incidents that took place in Nashville and Davidson County. His concerns about local law enforcement policies carried much validity as research in the report reveals a lack of formal MNPD policies and training related to immigration enforcement and the rights of immigrant community members. However, Martinez is hopeful that shedding light on the matter will allow room for improvement to the current policies that are in place.

“One of MNCO's greatest assets to our community is its ability to conduct thorough research into our city's law enforcement practices and issue thoughtful and practical policy recommendations,” says Martinez. “If adopted, the policy recommendations contained in this report will create a clear line of separation between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement—a necessary step toward strengthening the trust between MNPD and Nashville's vibrant immigrant community and increasing public safety for all Nashvillians.”

The approved version of the report, “Policy Advisory Report Examining Local Law Enforcement Policies and Immigration Enforcement Actions” can be found on the COB website, and the dedicated board meeting can be viewed online via Metro Nashville Network.