The following is a statement from Chief Steve Anderson in regard to this week’s fatal police-involved shootings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Falcon Heights, Minnesota:
“I am extremely concerned and disturbed by the videos and the accounts we have heard thus far coming from Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights. I expect that the U.S. Justice Department will conduct thorough and timely investigations that will provide answers.
While the investigations in Louisiana and Minnesota progress, I ask Nashvillians to please not judge or associate MNPD police officers they may see on patrol, at the scene of a crime, or in a restaurant as having any association or connection to Baton Rouge or Falcon Heights. I do not know the training protocols or the internal goings on at those two police agencies. I do, however, know about the training of Nashville police officers and the community engagement that is strongly encouraged throughout this department’s eight precincts.
MNPD officers have received months of instruction from our academy staff, which I believe to be among the very best in the nation. Academy instructors teach our officers to effectively communicate with citizens as the cornerstone to avoiding or de-escalating any tensions or hostilities. Our training emphasizes the sanctity of human life. MNPD police officer trainees receive more than 220 hours in use of force instruction, including de-escalation skills. Minimizing use of force necessarily begins with proper communication skills, especially in tense and fast moving situations. Our academy staff keeps abreast of, and imparts, lessons learned from critical incident scenarios along with the latest training techniques, particularly including approaches to de-escalation of tensions and implicit bias training.
I have confidence in the men and women working to protect the people of this city, their moral ethic, the skills they possess, and their ability to make appropriate decisions in difficult situations.
On behalf of this police department’s 1,900 employees, nearly 1,500 of them sworn officers, I am sincerely grateful for the support of Nashville’s citizens and businesses. We are working every day to maintain your confidence.”