- Mayor Karl DeanMayor, Nashville, TN
- Chief Steve AndersonChief of Police, Nashville, TN
- Kennetha SawyersProfessional Accountability Office, Nashville Police Dept.
Tell Nashville Police: Take Zero-Tolerance Stance Towards Domestic Violence
According to The Tennessean, the Nashville Police Department has failed to take a zero-tolerance policy towards members of the force arrested on domestic violence charges.
Sadly, domestic abuse is two to four times more common in police families than the rest of the population. This means that Nashville's unwillingness to confront the problem -- preferring to give the offending officers a few days suspension -- is contributing to a national problem. But more pressingly, the department's failure to punish and dismiss domestic abusers means that guns stay in the hands of violent officers, and that those officers see no real consequences for their actions, which can only serve to increase violence at home.
In addition, the Nashville Police Department has in the last few years seen a vast increase in the number of domestic violence cases it failed to resolve or dismissed. Indeed, in the last several years, the number of unresolved cases went from about 200 to 5,600. This only goes to show that both on the force and in the community, domestic violence is not taken seriously. And when it's not, the results are often fatal.
Tell the Nashville Police Department, Chief Steve Anderson, and Mayor Karl Dean, to take domestic violence charges seriously, both on the force and in the community; to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards those with DV charges; and to revise their protocol to ensure this problem is fixed in the future.
Photo credit: WeNews
- Mayor, Nashville, TN
Mayor Karl Dean
- Chief of Police, Nashville, TN
Chief Steve Anderson
- Professional Accountability Office, Nashville Police Dept.
I am writing today to the Mayor, Police Chief, and head the Police Department's Office of Professional Accountability because it has been brought to my attention that over the past several years, the Nashville Police Department has allowed officers charged or arrested for domestic violence to remain on the force, often with as little as a 2 day suspension.
This is disturbing for a number of reasons. First, domestic abuse is actually two to four times more common in police families than the rest of the population. This means your department, rather than confront a serious problem, is putting police families increasingly in harm's way. Failure to take domestic violence seriously only emboldens abusers to act again, knowing they will not lose their jobs for it.
Lastly, the Nashville Police Department has in the last few years (as was reported by The Tennessean last summer) vastly increased the number of domestic violence cases it failed to resolve or dismissed. Indeed, in the last several years, the number of unresolved cases went from about 200 to 5,600. This only goes to show that both on the force and in the community, domestic violence is not taken seriously. Imagine now a victim of abuse calls the police, only to find the responding officer is sympathetic to the abuser.
For the health and safety of the community, please re-evaluate your policies towards domestic violence cases on the force and in the community. On the force, there should be a zero-tolerance policy so that police are aware of the consequences of their violent actions, and so that violent abusers are not allowed to keep their gun. Once DV is taken seriously among police officers, then it can also take care of its community by making sure abusers are punished and victims remain safe.
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