NASHVILLE, TN — Metro Nashville Community Oversight (MNCO) announced that it is fully staffed and in full operation, ready to start receiving and investigating complaints of misconduct against the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD).
MNCO is the support department for the Community Oversight Board (COB) – which was created statutorily thought Amendment 1 on the Nov. 6, 2018, ballot in Davidson County and was approved by voters. MNCO is an independent body that has the power to investigate allegations that MNPD officers have committed misconduct against members of the public. Any resident of Davidson County can file a complaint with the MNCO. Once the complaint has been received, MNCO’s teams will begin an active investigation into the allegation.
The staff is made up of a diverse group of 10 members who include: William Weeden, Executive Director; Jill Fitcheard, Assistant Director; Paula Person, Executive Assistant; Todd Pinckley, Legal Advisor; Henry Ramirez, Lead Investigator; Vernon Johnson, Investigator; April Williams, Investigator; Brensey Thompson, Community Liaison; Peter Vielehr, Lead Research Analyst; and Liz Orozco, Research Analyst. The team has been settling into their new offices, developing rules and regulations for investigation procedures, attending various trainings and working to let the community know that MNCO is up and running.
“I’m super excited to be a part of such a dynamic and knowledgeable team,” shared Thompson. “Each of us has such extensive unique backgrounds, and it’s been really neat to watch all of that come together into our workspace to create a positive force of energy for us and the community.”
Currently, MNCO’s executive team is in negotiations with the Chief of Police, Steve Anderson, regarding a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations. This would create a declaration of cooperative interaction with MNCO and MNPD. Several meetings between the two groups have already been held and both are hopeful that an agreement will be made soon.
Meanwhile, MNCO wants residents of Davidson County to know that they are here to listen and be a voice for the community, MNCO aims to ensure a culture of accountability with the MNPD and build restorative relationships between the MNPD and citizens of Davidson County.
MNCO is located in the Washington Square Building at 222 Second Avenue North, Suite 370-M, Nashville, TN. A complaint can be made to the investigative team 24/7, via phone, at 615-880-1801 (online forms will be available soon). Updates about community meetings, forums and other news can be found at www.nashville.gov/Community-Overisght or on the Facebook page: Metro Nashville Community Oversight.
Metropolitan Nashville Community Oversight was formed after a coalition of social justice advocates called Community Oversight Now led the push for the Community Oversight Board after several police shootings took place in Nashville. MNCO conducts independent, thorough, and unbiased investigations of police misconduct, provides a safe place for both citizens and police officers to communicate effectively and operates through transparency, education and community outreach.