Tag Archives: POST

POST Commission not doing inspections of police training academies

A state Comptroller’s audit says the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission has not inspected any of Tennessee’s law enforcement training academies for more than two years, reports the News Sentinel.

The POST Commission, which is the primary regulatory agency for the state’s law enforcers, did not darken the doorways of any of the 11 training academies in the state, including four in East Tennessee, in 2012 or 2013.

Officials confirmed Thursday POST has not conducted a required on-site inspection at the training facilities operated by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and Knoxville Police Department since at least 2011.

In the audit, POST Executive Secretary Brian Grisham blamed “personnel losses and travel restrictions.” State law requires annual on-site visits to the academies, which provide the basic law enforcement training all law enforcers in Tennessee must receive to be POST-certified officers.

…”Without adequate compliance monitoring, the POST Commission is limited in its ability to ensure that law enforcement training academies are providing appropriate training and graduating qualified officers,” the audit stated.

The audit also revealed the problem is not new. The Comptroller’s Office made similar findings in a 2008 audit, and POST promised to beef up its efforts, saying it had boosted its staff.

“Management stated (in 2008) that … commission investigators would conduct annual on-site visits and that at least one extensive review would be performed every two to three years,” the 2014 audit stated. “Deficiencies, however, still exist.”

POST now says “additional responsibilities have put a strain on existing resources” and it wants to “modify the monitoring rule to allow for less frequent on-site visits,” the audit stated. The agency also is proposing a plan to recruit volunteers from law enforcement agencies to conduct the on-site visits.

KPD Chief David Rausch and KCSO Assistant Chief Deputy Bobby Spangler both said Thursday that although their training academies have not been inspected by POST for the past three years, they are not concerned with the level of training they afford or the work POST does.

Campfield’s ‘Pressure Cooker’ Joke Draws National Media Attention

Sen. Stacey Campfield is drawing national media attention again, this time for a blog post joke calling for “pressure cooker control” after pressure cookers were fashioned into bombs for the Boston marathon explosions that killed three people.
The unapologetic Campfield had an interview/argument with CNN’s Piers Morgan on Thursday, saying he was “just pointing out the hypocrisy of the left” and comparing gun control as a curb to violence to “spoon control” to curb obesity.
He also got in a few digs at Morgan, such as: “When are you going to move back to England? People in Tennessee are dying to know.” (Video HERE)
And here’s an excerpt from an ABC News story, which notes the blog post had a photo of a pressure cooker with “Assault Pressure Cooker (APC)” printed below it.:
The photo had labels and arrows pointing to all of the pot’s “dangerous” features including a “muzzle break thingy that goes ‘up'” and a “tactical pistol grip.”
It’s also described as “large-capacity, can cook for hours without reloading” and the color was “evil, black.”
The blog post was titled, “Here comes Feinstein again,” an apparent dig at Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), one of the leading proponents in the battle for gun control. The image implied that pressure cookers might be her next target.
Two pressure cookers were turned into bombs in the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and wounded more than 260 people.
Campfield dismisses the criticism.
“I think it’s tasteless when Obama will drag everybody he can up to Capitol Hill and try to pass gun control,” Campfield told ABCNews.com today. “I think that was classless and tasteless. I don’t hear them complaining about that too much.”
“I was showing the hypocrisy of Diane Feinstein, the gun grabbers, of their inability to realize that it is a person that does activity, not an inanimate object, be it a gun or a pressure cooker,” he said.

Maggart Goes National in Counterattack on NRA

Former House Republican Chairman Debra Maggart, defeated in her bid for reelection after being attacked by the National Rifle Association, has penned an attack on the NRA for the New York Times. An excerpt:
They ran 12 full-page newspaper ads featuring my picture with one of President Obama stating I was for gun control. They ran radio ads, robo calls, posted a “Defeat Maggart” Web site, produced a YouTube video of their chief lobbyist explaining to their members why I should be defeated, and did nine mailings. They posted my photo with President Obama’s on three of the five billboards in my Republican hometown.
..Because of N.R.A. bully tactics, legislators are not free to openly discuss the merits of gun-related legislation. This stifling of discussion does not serve the interest of the public nor of the gun owners. But the N.R.A. gets their way because they know how intimidating they are and they know that lawmakers are afraid to speak openly about what needs to be done.
The N.R.A.’s agenda is more about raising money from their members by creating phantom issues instead of promoting safe, responsible gun ownership. N.R.A. members should ask about the million dollar salaries they pay their lobbyists and why they spend money to defeat proven Second Amendment defenders like me.

She’s also done an interview with Huffington Post. And here in Tennessee… well, previous post HERE.

Mark Clayton: ‘Absurbist Coda to a Long Democratic Disaster’

The headline on a Washington Post story, datelined Whites Creek, Tenn., suggests that Mark Clayton may be “2012’s worst candidate.” It begins like this:
The Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee has no campaign headquarters, a fundraising drive stuck at $278 and one yard sign. Not one type of yard sign. One sign.
And with the election just days away, he has not actually put that sign in a yard. Instead, it resides inside candidate Mark Clayton’s pickup. “VOTE FOR,” the sign says. The rest is hidden by the seats.
“Jesus did not have a campaign staff. And he had the most successful campaign in human history,” Clayton said recently, when asked if all this adds up to a winning run against incumbent Sen. Bob Corker (R). Jesus “didn’t even have pictures or a Web site.”
This may be America’s worst candidate.
Clayton, 36, is a part-time flooring installer, an indulger in conspiracy theories — and for Democrats here, the living personification of rock bottom. In a state that produced Democratic icons including Andrew Jackson and both Al Gores, the party has fallen so far that it can’t even run a good loser.
Instead, it has this guy. In Tennessee, Clayton’s unlikely run is providing an absurdist coda to a long Democratic disaster. Something like falling down a flight of stairs onto a whoopee cushion.
“It’s pretty sad. I mean, when your nomination is not worth having, that’s embarrassing,” said Will T. Cheek, a Nashville investor who has been a member of the state Democratic Party’s executive committee since 1970. “That would appear to be where we are.”

Anonymous Claim: Romney Tax Returns Hacked in Franklin

An anonymous individual or group is alleging that they have gained “all available 1040 tax forms” of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney by accessing computers in the Franklin office of the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, reports the City Paper.
An anonymous posting on a file sharing website states that PwC has been hacked. This same website has been used by hackers who have claimed to have infiltrated computers from companies like Apple in the past.
An excerpt from one message states:
“Romney’s 1040 tax returns were taken from the PWC office 8/25/2012 by gaining access to the third floor via a gentleman working on the 3rd floor of the building. Once on the 3rd floor, the team moved down the stairs to the 2nd floor and setup shop in an empty office room. During the night, suite 260 was entered, and all available 1040 tax forms for Romney were copied. A package was sent to the PWC on suite 260 with a flash drive containing a copy of the 1040 files, plus copies were sent to the Democratic office in the county and copies were sent to the GOP office in the county at the beginning of the week also containing flash drives with copies of Romney’s tax returns before 2010. A scanned signature image for Mitt Romney from the 1040 forms were scanned and included with the packages, taken from earlier 1040 tax forms gathered and stored on the flash drives.
The group will release all available files to the public on the 28 of September, 2012.”

POST Rescinds Immigration Check Policy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — After being sued for creating rules in secret, a state commission on Friday rescinded a policy that directed local jailers to check the immigration status of detainees.
The Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission was required to develop the policy by a recent state law, but a suit filed last month claimed they did so by email and in meetings that were not announced to the public.
State attorney Joe Underwood, speaking at the commission’s monthly meeting on Friday, recommended that members rescind the rules. They did so unanimously.
Underwood said that detainees will still have their immigration status checked as part of a federal program called Secure Communities that is now active in all 95 counties.
He told the commission that under Secure Communities, federal immigration authorities will receive electronic copies of the fingerprints of all detainees. It will then be up to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to decide whether to request an immigration hold on someone.
“Basically, this takes local law enforcement out of the process,” he said.
Underwood said that should remove the concern that some local jailers are engaging in racial profiling — questioning only those detainees that they perceive to be foreign because of the way they look or talk.
Attorney Elliott Ozment, who filed the suit against POST, said he was satisfied with the vote and would sign paperwork to drop the suit later on Friday.
“This (decision) is important because we have run into problems with how these POST Commission regulations are being implemented in the counties,” he said.
Ozment has filed a separate suit in federal court claiming the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office has violated immigrants’ rights by detaining people without a request from ICE to do so.
Ozment said he expects cases like that to continue to come up under Secure Communities, but he will wait to hear from clients about their experiences before challenging the program.
Stephen Fotopulos, director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, also attended Friday’s meeting. He said he would like to see the POST Commission take further action to educate jailers about when they are legally allowed to detain someone suspected of an immigration violation and for how long.
As for the POST Commission providing notice of its meetings, “I think it’s learned its lesson on that,” Ozment said.
Note: News release below.

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TN Congressional Redistricting a Dilemma for GOP

A Washington Post blogger who has been looking at congressional redistricting in various states has turned his eye toward Tennessee..
…(I)n Tennessee, there’s still a difference between conservative and Republican. Despite DesJarlais’ 4th district having a Cook Partisan Voting Index rating of R+13 — i.e. heavily leaning toward the GOP — he represents a lot of conservative rural Democrats. And Fincher, especially in the eastern part of his western Tennessee 8th district (just west of Nashville) hs lots of conservative Democrats too.
Republican line-drawers’ first priority is keeping those two seats. Until last year, Republicans were still a minority in the state’s congressional delegation and that not-so-distant memory is likely to weigh heavily on the party.
Shoring up Fincher is job number one. The best thing for him would be to give away his eastern Democratic territory to somebody (Cooper’s 5th district, for example) and pick up more of the heavily Republican Memphis suburbs from Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R) very safe 7th district.
As for DesJarlais, sources say the GOP would like to make the unwieldy, 200-mile-long district a bit more logical. Currently, it incorporates disparate groups of people with little in common, stretching from near the Virginia border to near the Mississippi border.
The idea in his district is to cut out as many of the rural Democratic pockets as possible, and move DesJarlais into more Republican areas, with the most obvious solution being to take Murfreesboro from freshman Rep. Diane Black’s (R) safe 6th district. (Of course, this could also earn DesJarlais a primary challenge, given his many new constituents.)
The problem for the GOP, in this scenario, is that giving Murfreesboro to DesJarlais and taking the conservative Democrats out of Fincher’s seat makes targeting Cooper much more difficult, because the leftover Democrats will have to find a home. Blackburn and Black can both take on some of them, but only so many.
Blackburn, in particular, would already be giving up the heavily conservative Memphis suburbs for her district. The easiest solution, Republicans acknowledge, is just to pack as many Democrats as possible into Cooper’s district and assure that the DesJarlais and Fincher districts are safe for years to come

Court Rejects Challenge to Sheriff Certification Law

The state Court of Appeals, reversing a lower court ruling, has basically declared that Bedford County Sheriff Randall Boyce is ineligible to serve in his office because he was not granted a certificate by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST), reports the Shelbyville Times-Gazette.
The sheriff, who went to court so that he could legally seek re-election in 2010 after POST denied his certification, says he’ll appeal the ruling. (Note: There has been controversy in the past over how far the Legislature could go in setting qualifications for sheriffs, who are popularly elected to a position specifically authorized by the state constitution.)
Boyce had argued in his 2009 appeal that the statutory requirement that a sheriff had to obtain POST certification was “an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power.”
But the court ruled Friday that “the General Assembly essentially provided that sheriffs are to meet the current professional standards for peace officers as determined by POST.”
The court also disagreed with the chancellor’s 2009 interpretation and conclusion, giving the opinion that POST has the discretion to determine what is equivalent to its current training requirement.
…While the matter was in the courts in 2009, Sen. Jim Tracy and former Rep. Curt Cobb even introduced a bill to the Tennessee State Legislature that would have changed the state code, allowing Boyce to be certified, but the effort was unsuccessful.