Hamilton Sheriff Rounds Up a Posse Under 1858 TN Law

The word “posse” may conjure up visions of a Stetson-hatted lawman standing on a dusty Western street, six-gun at his side, asking a group of local citizens to help track down a fleeing bad guy, but under Tennessee law, posses still are possible.
Further from the Chattanooga TFP:
Under an 1858 law still on the books, posses can be created to suppress “affrays, riots, routs, unlawful assemblies, insurrections or other breaches of peace.” (Hamilton County Sheriff Jim) Hammond has done just that, issuing 71 posse identification cards to Hamilton County residents.
His 62-year-old wife, Jeanie, is first on the list. She’s also the only woman.
Also on the list are 30 contributors to Hammond’s campaign fund, averaging more than $1,000 in donations, according to campaign finance disclosures.
…Sam Walker, a police accountability expert who teaches at the University of Nebraska, said he’s never heard of a sheriff’s office still using a posse.
“There have been issues around the country where people have been given honorary deputy badges,” he said.
Walker argued that, if the posse is not actually going to be used for any practical purpose, it shouldn’t be there at all.

“If they’re not going to be used for anything, then why do they exist?” Walker said.

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