Tennessee to review law enforcement polices, training

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee on Thursday called on every law enforcement agency to review and update its use of force policies, as well as scrutinize guidelines surrounding when officers should prevent or stop incidents of misconduct.

Lee said the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and others have volunteered to help implement the 60-day review.

“This is just the beginning but we're grateful for this first step,” Lee said.

Also part of Lee's Thursday announcement was a call for increased officer training, including requiring no fewer than 16 hours on de-escalation techniques, officer's duty-to-intervene, public assembly interaction and emphasizing positive officer and community relationships.

Finally, the state's Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission will make the National Decertification Index — which tracks officers who have lost their license or certificates due to misconduct — more accessible to all law enforcement agencies in Tennessee.

Lee issued the announcement amid nationwide protests set off by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis pressed a knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes while he pleaded for air.