Judge Dinkins, Judge Blackburn Named to Metro Nashville’s Policing Policy Commission

August 14, 2020
Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Richard Dinkins has been named co-chair and Davidson County General Sessions Court Judge Melissa Blackburn has been named a member of a new Policing Policy Commission created by Nashville Mayor John Cooper.
 
Mayor Cooper explained the goals of the Commission in a letter accompanying a news release.
 
“The first purpose of the Commission is to identify ways for the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) to reduce the use of force,” Mayor Cooper wrote. “But it also has a broader purpose: to begin a community-wide process of reimagining how Nashville can build trust and enhance community safety.”
 
The Commission will form three committees to undertake its work. These three committees will be dedicated to Serving Nashville’s Communities; Screening, Supervision, Resources, and Recruitment; and Policies, Tactics, and Training. 
 
Judge Dinkins will organize the committees with his co-chair former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. 
 
Mayor Cooper states that the Commission will meet for the first time next week. The Commission has been asked to issue a report by the end of October. 
 
Judge Blackburn said that she is honored to have been named a member of the Commission. 
 
“My intent as a member of this commission is to hear the voices of all our communities and to see the viewpoints of a diverse city,” she said in a statement. “For the past six years, I have had the opportunity to work with those suffering from mental illness and emotional trauma in the justice system. This work has afforded me the opportunity to see how police interact with these Nashvillians at critical moments of their lives and bring that perspective to the task before us.
 
“I am looking forward to serving with the distinguished group the Mayor has appointed to address an issue important to so many in our community and I believe we can achieve great progress through our work.”
 
Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Richard Dinkins

Davidson County General Sessions Court Judge Melissa Blackburn