Murfreesboro Police will conduct and internal after-action review after a reported incident at Hobgood Elementary where several children were reportedly handcuffed and arrested.
On Sunday, Murfreesboro Police and city officials met with residents at First Baptist Church on East Castle Street to listen to their concerns about the April 15 arrests. Chief Karl Durr says it was an opportunity to listen and he adds the department is committed to reviewing the concerns in a "thorough and complete manner."
While residents questioned the arrests of the students, Sgt. Kyle Evans with MPD says Tennessee law prohibits the department from addressing the specifics of the juvenile arrests. He says the law is designed to protect juveniles and any information regarding incidents juveniles are involved in as it pertains to law enforcement records. Evans says MPD will not have further comment on these specific arrests because it is a matter before the Juvenile Court.
He did say, in a release, that they're conducting the internal review. Chief Durr says they're committed to assuring that officers consistently use good judgement and act in accordance with policy. He says if changes need to be made or they need to address issues internally, the review process will identify those.
This review will assure the Department identifies law enforcement best practices, assists with their implementation, and augments enhanced policies and training where necessary. A cross section of MPD personnel will be assigned to review these internal procedures and draft recommendations. "It is important that the Department be transparent about the Police Department's analysis of its policies and procedures by engaging and involving the community," Chief Durr added. Therefore, the Chief will meet with a coalition of Murfreesboro pastors to review the draft AfterAction Review recommendations to gain their input and advice. The forming of this pastoral coalition can also provide an opportunity for regular communication with the Police Department. The MPD will also continue to work with residents, community leaders, and the Rutherford County Juvenile Court to ensure the highest standard of law enforcement practices. Chief Durr said, "Situations involving juvenile offenders and victims are some of the most difficult and sensitive situations that officers must handle. Our police officers are committed to serving the community, preventing crime, and helping the victims of crime. We will reinforce the practices that have worked well and correct any deficiencies or problems that become known."