Nashville, TENN – Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) Chief Steve Anderson is retiring, Mayor John Cooper announced today.
This comes after more than a dozen Metro Council members recently signed a resolution calling for Anderson’s resignation and the Tennessee chapter of ACLU called for him to step down. The call for Anderson’s resignation increased in recent days after the MNPD’s response to protests against the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and other black Americans.
Many community leaders believe that while this is the step in the right direction for police reform there is still work that needs to be done. “In the wake of Mayor Cooper’s announcement regarding the retirement of Chief Anderson we must resist the urge to claim a victory,” explain James Turner II, Democratic candidate for the TN House of Representatives District 52. “Though many social justice leaders including myself have called for the resignation of Anderson citing multiple grievances through the years, our real work will be ensuring the next Chief will be able to build trust between the community and the police department, embrace 21st century policing practices, recruit and inspire a police force that reflects the diversity of Nashville and accept the need for Communuty driven solutions as a part of a comprehensive public safety strategy.”
Mayor Cooper did thank Chief Anderson for his service and announced the beginning of a national search for a new Chief of Police.
“Chief Steve Anderson, who has served the city honorably in this role since 2010, will retire at the conclusion of our national search and hiring process,” said Mayor Cooper. “Over the next several months, my office will organize input from the entire community as we find the right leader for this next chapter of community safety in Nashville.”
Additionally, the MNPD, along with a public commission, will review the department’s use of force policies and procedures and must address additional public safety demands in the near term. Those who are seeking change feel this is a very important part of the reform they are demanding. “Nashville is changing and evolving and we must re-imaging public safety in our city and dig deep to root out indifference, and injustice in every rank and every department,” said Turner.
Chief Anderson will remain on through at least October’s nationally televised presidential debate hosted at Belmont University.
The details of the nationwide search process will be announced at a later date.