MNPD Chief Steve Anderson writes that many of the so-called officers seen at construction sites in Nashville may be from other jurisdictions or they may not be authorized to perform law enforcement duties in any jurisdiction at all. The latter case is, of course, illegal. In the December 18, 2015 employee newsletter (PDF), he writes:
On Tuesday of this week, I received a message from a citizen who works downtown in regard to the “perceived unhelpfulness” of “officers” in the downtown area regarding traffic issues. He related that because of construction and roadway choke points, motorists find themselves asking the “officers” how to get here or there. The complaint this citizen had heard from his friends is that the “officers” seemed to be indifferent or were perceived as rude. The citizen was surprised to learn of the information in my response:
On almost every complaint of this type that we are able to successfully investigate, the person involved is not a current or even former MNPD employee. By estimate of one MNPD supervisor who frequently investigates these complaints, only 15 to 20 percent of the persons on these traffic posts are current MNPD officers. Another 15 to 20 percent are retirees, and the remainder are persons from other jurisdictions performing law enforcement duties inside Davidson County, at least some of them not legitimately. I explained to the citizen that state law allows for officers from other jurisdictions to perform law enforcement duties inside Davidson County, that these persons are employed by private companies, are not accountable to the MNPD and have no vested interest in performing their duties in a manner consistent with the expectations of this police department or the citizens of Nashville. We very often find that these persons are not really employed as police officers in other places, but are volunteer, auxiliary or part-time employees.
After giving some examples of illegitimate officers, he relates:
If the issue concerns a non-MNPD employee, our ability to address it is somewhat limited (the Department of Commerce & Insurance, to my understanding, does not have the staffing to thoroughly investigate infractions).