Metro Nashville police encouraged to issue citations in lieu of physical arrests amid coronavirus outbreak

The policy is meant to help reduce risk to the public as well as to MNPD officers. (Courtesy Fotolia)
The policy is meant to help reduce risk to the public as well as to MNPD officers. (Courtesy Fotolia)

The policy is meant to help reduce risk to the public as well as to MNPD officers. (Courtesy Fotolia)

To help reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus in the city's detention facilities, Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson announced this week that officers with the Metro Nashville Police Department are being asked to "maximize their discretion" in issuing state citations instead of physically arresting individuals.

The temporary policy will only apply to some misdemeanor offenses, with exceptions for domestic violence and DUIs, according to a release from MNPD. Offenders would only quality for citation if they are able to prove their identity. They would be then given a citation with a future booking date, during which they would be required to appear at the sheriff's office for booking.


The policy was also approved by the district attorney's office as well as local criminal courts, according to the release.

All persons who commit felony crimes will still be arrested and taken to jail, according to MNPD.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.