Community set to square off against Sheriff again

The troops are rallying for another salvo in the fight between the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Southeast Nashville.

The Correctional Detention Center off Harding Place.

The Correctional Detention Center off Harding Place.

This round is over Sheriff Darron Hall’s $20 million proposal to create a consolidated Sheriff’s Operations Headquarters near the current jail facility on Harding Place.

A budget hearing specific to this will be held at 2:30 p.m. Monday, May 16, at the Metro Council Chambers.

Lorrinda Hale, who is one of the leaders of Southeast Nashville United, an organization with the stated mission of helping create a stronger, safer Southeast Nashville, posted on Facebook, “Sheriff Hall will be discussing his 20 Mil funding request for a consolidated operations HQ. His preferred location per his staff is on the Harding property – over 11 miles from the building that will house the inmates whose care and control is his primary responsibility as Sheriff. He should not be given any more funding UNTIL THE DOWNTOWN CJC (JAIL) is operational and FULLY functional AND ALL PRISONERS TEMPORARILY HOUSED ARE RETURNED TO THE CJC.”

Last year, Hall made attempted to move the criminal justice center to Harding Place. He was blocked by a coalition of citizens, including Southeast Nashville United, and Metro Council Members representing Southeast Nashville and Antioch.

This year, the two sides have been at it again over Hall’s proposal to temporary move the jail population to Harding Place while the downtown criminal justice center undergoes a major renovation. Citizens have expressed concerns over the temporary move and security of inmates, where inmate population will be released after their time is served, and the potential closing of nearby Ezell Park.

Both Hall and Mayor Megan Barry did not attend a recent community meeting on the subject. Mayor Barry wrote the Sheriff a letter expressing concerns and the Sheriff recently responded in The Tennessean.

In her letter, Barry noted three key issues:

  1. Keeping Ezell Park open to the community for soccer and other activities.
  2. The Mayor suggesting the Hill Detention Center as an alternative location to release inmates.
  3. Need for more community conversation and input to determine the best location for the requested Sheriff’s Administrative Headquarters.

Sheriff Hall stated these are possible, but his primary concerns in doing so, The Tennessean reported, were public safety, impact on budget, and delays in construction.

Details on the Sheriff’s proposed budget may be viewed at this link.