Police oversight bill divides Tennessee House, Senate

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee House and Senate lawmakers remain split on a proposal to limit community oversight boards that investigate police misconduct, a division that is only heightening this session’s top legislative issue.

The Senate on Monday advanced legislation allowing such boards to issue subpoenas, but only if a board-hired special investigator, the police chief or head of police internal affairs received a judge’s approval.

The proposal conflicts with the House’s version, which stripped subpoena power away from the boards entirely.

That means the two chambers will form a joint panel known as a “conference committee” to find a solution.

Nashville voters approved a new oversight board in November. Knoxville has a similar board that hasn’t used its subpoena power. Memphis’ oversight board does not have subpoena power.

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