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We obtained data on 269 Police and 94 Sheriff’s Depts in the state of Tennessee.

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Scorecard at a Glance

Average for 4 Sections: 50%

Scores range from 0-100% comparing states with data from both state and local law enforcement agencies within the population. States 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.

Worse
50th Percentile
Better
Police Funding:  47%
Police Budget Cost per Person        
Misconduct Settlements        
Fines/Forfeitures        
Police Presence/Over-Policing (Officers per Population)        
Police Violence:  77%
Force Used per Arrest        
Deadly Force per Arrest        
Unarmed Victims of Deadly Force per Arrest        
Racial Disparities in Deadly Force        
Worse
50th Percentile
Better
Police Accountability:  24%
Misconduct Complaints Upheld        
Excessive Force Complaints Upheld        
Discrimination Complaints Upheld        
Criminal Misconduct Complaints Upheld        
Approach to Law Enforcement:  52%
Arrest Rate for Low Level Offenses        
Homicides Solved        
Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests        
Jail Incarceration Rate        
Jail Deaths per 1,000        

Key Findings

Police Funding i

47% -2%

Police Funding By Year

$2.29B  |  6,651,089 Residents  |  $344 per Resident

More Police Funding per Capita than 44% of States

Funds taken from communities in fines and forfeitures

Total: $2.13B from 2010-20

More Fines/Forfeitures than 71% of States

Number of officers per 1k population

17,886 Officers  |  26.5 per 10k Residents

More Officers per Population than 90% of States

Police violence i

77% +4%

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Less-Lethal Force

Used More Force per Arrest than N/A of States

2,619 Incidents  |  58 every 10k arrests  |  -28%

No Data Found Add Data

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Deadly Force

240 Killings by Police from 2013-21  |  0.8 every 10k arrests

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

Deadly Force by Armed Status

10% Unarmed  |  46% Did Not Allegedly Have a Gun

Unarmed Other Alleged Gun Vehicle
10%
25%
54%
11%

^  More Unarmed People Killed per Arrest than 18% of States   

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Police Violence by Race

Black Latinx N.Am API Other White

Population of Tennessee

16%
74%

Tennessee Law Enforcement Demographics

22%
75%

People Arrested

32%
62%

People Killed

23%
8%
65%

^  More Racial Disparities in Deadly Force than 11% of States   

Police Accountability i

24% +31%

Total civilian complaints

2,646 from 2016-21  |  13% Ruled in Favor of Civilians

 

Complaints Not Sustained Complaints Sustained

Use of Force Complaints

18 Reported  |  22% Ruled in Favor of Civilians

Complaints of Police Discrimination

229 Reported  |  3% Ruled in Favor of Civilians

 

Complaints Reported Ruled in Favor of Civilians

Alleged Crimes Committed by Police

240 Reported  |  21% Ruled in Favor of Civilians

 

Complaints Reported Ruled in Favor of Civilians

Approach to Law Enforcement i

52%

Arrests By Year

2,896,335 Arrests Reported from 2013-2021

Low Level Arrests Other Arrests

More Info

Arrests for Low Level Offenses

1,982,598 Arrests  |  37 per 1k residents

^  Higher Arrest Rate for Low Level Offenses than 88% of States   

Disparities in Arrests for Low Level Offenses by Race/Ethnicity

Black people were 1.8x more likely and Latinx people were 0.7x more likely to be arrested for low level, non-violent offenses than a white person.

Black Latinx White

Percent of total arrests by type

All Arrests for Low Level Offenses ( 68% )

Drug Possession ( 11% )

Violent Crime ( 4% )

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Homicides Unsolved

4,462 Homicides from 2013-21  |  1797 Unsolved

^  Solved Fewer Homicides than 35% of States   

Percent of Homicides Unsolved by Race

Homicides of Black Victims Unsolved ( 29% )

Homicides of Latinx Victims Unsolved ( 28% )

Homicides of White Victims Unsolved ( 11% )

Deaths in Jail

266 Deaths from 2013-19  |  9 per 1k Jail Population

Homicide Suicide Other Investigating

100%

^ Higher Rate of Jail Deaths than 13% of States   

Jail Incarceration rate

9,609 Avg Daily Jail Population  |  5 per 1k residents

^  More than 91% of Sheriff's Depts  

People in Jail Without Being Convicted

72 % of People in Jail

Tennessee Statewide Scores

Rankings are based upon a 0 to 100 percentage scale. States 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 States where We Have Obtained the Most Data.

Grade Scale Tap "show more" to see extended list

Statewide Score 5YR
18. Shelby County 31% -3%
17. Williamson County 37% +2%
16. Robertson County 39% -4%
15. Rutherford County 41% +1%
14. Knoxville 42% +2%
13. Sumner County 43% +3%
12. Hamilton County 43% -16%
11. Blount County 43% +10%
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Statewide Score 5YR
* Dandridge 45% -1%
* Walden Signal Mountain 45%
* Spencer 46% -1%
* Gallatin 46% +8%
* Lavergne 46% +2%
* Red Bank 46% +3%
* Medina 46% -3%
* Centerville 46% +3%
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+4%

* 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.

 

Police Scorecard is an independent 501(c)(3) organization, learn more about our team here. If you have feedback, questions about the project, or need support with an advocacy campaign, contact our Founder, Samuel Sinyangwe.

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 State's Governor and Attorney General, share your scorecard with them and urge them to enact policies to address the issues you've identified:
    • TN State Attorney General Herbert Slatery
  • Look up your state and federal representatives below, then tell them to take action to hold police accountable in your community.