Note: This story was last updated at 12:30 p.m. March 30.
Despite calls for an investigation, the Oak Ridge City Council on Friday approved a proposal from a University of Tennessee agency to review—rather than investigate—the Oak Ridge Police Department, focusing on turnover, morale, and administrative policies.
A series of motions by City Council member Trina Baughn, who has pushed hardest for an investigation of the ORPD and its police chief, were rejected. Among other things, Baughn’s proposals would have required all Police Department employees to spend at least 10 minutes with the investigator, regardless of whether they wanted to say anything; sought to interview all former workers who have left since May 2011, when Police Chief Jim Akagi was hired; given those interviewed a chance to participate in a “no confidence” vote against the chief; and look into Akagi’s previous history, including his prior employment with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Council also rejected a motion by Baughn to investigate the allegations included in a grievance filed by a former police officer and claims made in letters by former officers.
The 30-day review that was approved Friday was first proposed as a general concept by Oak Ridge City Council member Kelly Callison during a February meeting, with more detail added since then.