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We obtained data on 269 Tennessee police departments.

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Scorecard at a Glance

Average for 4 Sections: 47%

Scores range from 0-100% comparing cities with over 250k population. Cities with higher scores spend less on policing, use less force, are more likely to hold officers accountable and make fewer arrests for low-level offenses.

50th Percentile
Police Funding:  45%
Police Budget Cost per Person        
Misconduct Settlements        
Police Presence/Over-Policing (Officers per Population)        
Police Violence:  76%
Force Used per Arrest        
Deadly Force per Arrest        
Unarmed Victims of Deadly Force per Arrest        
Racial Disparities in Deadly Force        
50th Percentile
Police Accountability:  36%
Misconduct Complaints Upheld        
Excessive Force Complaints Upheld        
Discrimination Complaints Upheld        
Criminal Misconduct Complaints Upheld        
Approach to Law Enforcement:  34%
Arrest Rate for Low Level Offenses        
Homicides Solved        
Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests        

Key Findings

Police Funding i

45% +1%

Police Funding By Year

$216.79M  |  $290 per Resident

More Police Funding per Capita than 45% of Depts

Funds Spent On Misconduct Settlements

$520k per year from 2012-14  |  $7,579 per 10k population

^  More Spending due to Misconduct than 23% of Depts   

Funds taken from communities in fines and forfeitures

Total: $248.3M from 2010-18

Number of officers per 1k population

1,412 Officers  |  20.9 per 10k Residents

More Officers per Population than 65% of Depts

Police violence i

76% +10%

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Less-Lethal Force

Used More Force per Arrest than 11% of Depts

830 Incidents  |  29 every 10k arrests

^  Includes batons, strangleholds, tasers & other police weapons   

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Deadly Force

11 Killings by Police from 2013-19  |  0 every 10k arrests

^  More Killings by Police per Arrest than 14% of Depts   

Deadly Force by Armed Status

9% Unarmed  |  27% Did Not Allegedly Have a Gun

Unarmed Other Alleged Gun Vehicle

^  More Unarmed People Killed per Arrest than 22% of Depts   

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Police Violence by race

Black Latinx API Other White

Population of Jurisdiction


People Arrested


People Killed


^  More Racial Disparities in Deadly Force than 50% of Depts   

Police Accountability i

36% +6%

Total civilian complaints

833 from 2016-19  |  12% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Use of Force Complaints

5 Reported  |  20% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Complaints of Police Discrimination

82 Reported  |  1% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Alleged Crimes Committed by Police

83 Reported  |  18% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Approach to Law Enforcement i

34% -1%

Arrests By Year

287,680 Arrests Reported from 2013-19

More Info

Arrests for Low Level Offenses

203,300 Arrests  |  296 per 1k residents

^  Higher Arrest Rate for Low Level Offenses than 96% of Depts   

Percent of total arrests by type

All Arrests for Low Level Offenses ( 71% )

Drug Possession ( 14% )

Violent Crime ( 9% )

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Homicides Unsolved

521 Homicides from 2013-19  |  188 Unsolved

^  Solved Fewer Homicides than 51% of Depts   

Percent of Homicides Unsolved by Race

Homicides of Black Victims Unsolved ( 32% )

Homicides of Latinx Victims Unsolved ( 46% )

Homicides of White Victims Unsolved ( 27% )

Tennessee Police Department Scores

Rankings are based upon a 0 to 100 percentage scale. Departments with higher scores use less force, make fewer arrests for low level offenses, solve murder cases more often, hold officers more accountable and spend less on policing overall.

Overall Scores for Depts where We Have Obtained the Most Data.

Grade Scale Tap "show more" to see extended list

Police Department Score
5. Memphis 35%
4. Chattanooga 42%
3. Knoxville 42%
2. Nashville Metro 47%
1. Clarksville 49%
* Pigeon Forge 28%
* Monteagle 30%
* Etowah 32%
Police Department Score
* Lewisburg 47%
* White House 47%
* Dunlap 47%
* Watauga 47%
* Oakland 47%
* Lagrange 47%
* Clarksburg 47%
* Lookout Mountain 47%

* An asterisk indicates this location did not publish enough data to evaluate. Click below to add data to the Scorecard.

About This Scorecard

This is the first nationwide evaluation of policing in the United States. It was built using data from state and federal databases, public records requests to local police departments, and media reports. While police data is never perfect, and there are additional indicators that still need to be tracked, the Police Scorecard is designed to provide insight into many important issues in policing.

methodology Source Data


Use this Scorecard to identify issues within police departments that require the most urgent interventions and hold officials accountable for implementing solutions. For example, cities with higher rates of low level arrests could benefit most from solutions that create alternatives to policing and arrest for these offenses. In cities where police make fewer arrests overall but use more force when making arrests, communities could benefit significantly from policies designed to hold police accountable for excessive force. And cities where complaints of police misconduct are rarely ruled in favor of civilians could benefit from creating an oversight structure to independently investigate these complaints.


Here's how to start pushing for change

  • Contact your Mayor and Police Chief, share your scorecard with them and urge them to enact policies to address the issues you've identified:
    • Mayor John Cooper
    Advocacy Tip:  This state has a Police Bill of Rights law. These laws make it harder to hold police accountable. Call state legislators and tell them to repeal this law.
  • Look up your state and federal representatives below, then tell them to take action to hold police accountable in your community.


If you have feedback, questions about the project, or need support with an advocacy campaign, contact our Project Lead, Samuel Sinyangwe.