State Law Enforcement Agencies Must Comply By July 2016
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission recently approved a model law enforcement policy on sexually oriented crimes to be in effect statewide by July 2016.
The model policy outlines a protocol for all Tennessee law enforcement agencies when conducting preliminary and continued investigations of sexually oriented crimes and other related offenses.As the primary regulatory body for law enforcement agencies statewide, the POST Commission approved the policy during its November meeting. The Commission is composed of eighteen members and includes local law enforcement personnel, legislators, and Tennessee citizens who are not connected with law enforcement.
“Having a statewide policy will provide greater efficiency and consistent oversight for the investigations of sexual assaults in our state,” POST Commission Executive Secretary Brian Grisham says. “All state and local law enforcement agencies that are likely to encounter reports of sexually oriented crimes, including campus police forces, are required to establish these standards.”
The policy was developed by the Domestic Violence State Coordinating Council (DVSCC) in accordance with the State of Tennessee Public Chapter No. 253 Section 2. A survey of the amount of untested rape kits in Tennessee revealed the need to clarify proper procedure regarding sexual assault investigation and evidence collection.
“Tennessee is a leader in establishing a statewide policy for investigating sexually oriented crimes,” said Kathy Walsh, executive director of the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence and Secretary of the DVSCC. “This model policy also includes guidelines for officers on providing victim assistance and properly managing evidence. These improvements should increase victim reporting and ultimately lead to more sexual predators being caught.”
Tennessee law enforcement agencies have until July 1st, 2016 to either adopt the model policy as written, or create/adjust their own policy to meet the minimum standards outlined in the model policy.
For more information, including a copy of the model policy, visit www.tncoalition.org.
About the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance
TDCI is charged with protecting the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the Athletic Commission, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Corrections Institute, Emergency Communications Board, Fire Prevention, Insurance, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Peace Officers Standards and Training, Regulatory Boards, Securities, and TennCare Oversight.