With the appointment of members from Districts 3 and 7, the Chattanooga City Council filled its recently formed police advisory committee Tuesday night.
Council members began discussing the formation of an oversight board earlier this year after a series of allegations of police brutality and misconduct, including rape, sexual battery and the filmed beating of a 37-year-old man during a traffic stop in March 2018.
The creation of the board was approved in May. Since then, council members have been choosing who they want on the committee.
District 3 Councilman Ken Smith appointed Mary Anne Hensley, vice president of sponsored content operations at FreightWaves, a Chattanooga-based startup, of which Smith is chief technology officer.
Chairman and District 7 Councilman Erskine Oglesby appointed Chester Lee Clear, owner of WNOO, a local AM radio station.
With these appointments both approved by the council, the board is full and training will soon begin.
"The next citizens police academy is in September and we have nine slots set aside for each of [the council's] appointees," Chattanooga police Chief David Roddy said at a Public Safety Committee meeting ahead of the appointments Tuesday afternoon. "Starting now, or whenever the council chooses to, if you can provide me a list of your representatives and you're ready to proceed, I'd like to get their applications in to the police academy but then also we can start to get their ride-alongs scheduled."
Roddy said that he thinks each member of the citizen advisory committee should do at least three ride-alongs in different parts of the city and during different shifts to "get a different experience for how the police department works throughout."
In addition to ride-alongs and the academy, appointees will undergo training in a de-escalation simulator and training on the department's internal affairs process.
Roddy also said in the meeting that the new committee will likely dissolve the department's current Administrative Review Committee since the two oversight boards would be "redundant."
"[The current committee] would step out of the way and the [new committee] would step into the same point in the review process and would also fulfill the desire we have for community review of our internal investigations as well," Roddy said.
The committee will include:
» District 1: Rick Mincy, a retired Chattanooga police sergeant
» District 2: Kay Baker, community member
» District 3: Mary Anne Hensley, vice president of sponsored content operations at FreightWaves
» District 4: Michael Watkins, a U.S. Navy veteran and retired General Electric executive
» District 5: Christy Rashed, community member
» District 6: Richard W. Gordon, retired senior administrative law judge
» District 7: Chester Lee Clear, owner of WNOO
» District 8: Sylvester Harris, community member
» District 9: Jaqueline Anderson Thomas, a 2018 Democratic candidate for the Tennessee House of Representatives District 28
The council also approved several large financial moves, including a resolution authorizing the Department of Economic and Community Development to enter into a consulting contract with MDC Inc. for up to $160,000 and a resolution to retain the current available contingency amount of the Avondale Youth and Family Development center for an increased amount of more than $887,000, for a revised contract amount of $5,840,249.
Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6416.