TN House GOP Leader Files Bill To Remove Critical Criteria For Local Law Enforcement Applicants

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Kelly M. Jackson] –

According to recent reports, Tennessee has a relatively serious law enforcement staffing shortage.  A bill introduced in this new session of the General Assembly aims to assist in that matter, however, local grassroots are sounding the alarm. 

Leading Tennessee State House Republican, William Lamberth (R-Portland-District 44) has introduced a bill that would remove the requirement for military service and allow all permanent residents (non-citizens) to apply and be considered for positions in any local law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Tennessee. 

HB0056 “as introduced, allows any qualified permanent legal resident of the United States to be certified as a law enforcement officer and not just a permanent legal resident who is an honorably discharged military veteran; prohibits the POST commission from certifying a person decertified in another state because of criminal or other misconduct; requires the commission to evaluate the qualifications of a person certified as a law enforcement officer in another state by reviewing the person’s training, practical experience, and education. – Amends TCA Title 38, Chapter 8, Part 1.” 

Current law requires that anyone who wishes to be considered for employment as a law enforcement officer, if not a full-fledged citizen by birth or naturalization, have proof of having served in any branch of the United States Military, and an honorable discharge from that branch. 

Local critics of the bill, warn of the possible dangers of removing what is considered imperative criteria in the current law. 

Gary Humble, Executive Director of Tennessee Stands, a statewide grassroots organization whose primary purpose is to educate the general public with the knowledge of their rights and equip them with the tools to get engaged in the legislative process, opposes the bill. 

Humble shared his concerns:  

 “Our law currently allows permanent residents to serve in local law enforcement as long as they have prior service in a branch of the United States Armed Forces. I am OK with that. They have served our country and proved their allegiance to our nation.

But outside of that, why would we want to allow foreign nationals (non-citizens) to serve on local law enforcement? Imagine that future mandates and potential unconstitutional actions of our government that might be enforced upon us by law enforcement. Do we want non-citizens (with no military service) and have not renounced their foreign citizenship to now be the same people who enforce our own laws?

In my opinion, this is absolute lunacy.

Are you a permanent resident that would like to work in local law enforcement? Great! Become a citizen of the United States.

This bill would “remove the requirement for military service” and now allow all permanent residents (non-citizens) to work in law enforcement.” 

The Tennessee Conservative reached out to Representative Lamberth and did not receive a response upon publication of this article. Should the bill pass through the legislative process successfully and be signed into law by Governor Lee, the effect will be immediate. 

About the Author: Kelly Jackson is a recent escapee from corporate America, and a California refugee to Tennessee. Christ follower, Wife and Mom of three amazing teenagers. She has a BA in Comm from Point Loma Nazarene University, and has a background in law enforcement and human resources. Since the summer of 2020, she has spent any and all free time in the trenches with local grassroots orgs, including Mom’s for Liberty Williamson County and Tennessee Stands as a core member.  Outspoken advocate for parents rights, medical freedom, and individual liberty.

3 thoughts on “TN House GOP Leader Files Bill To Remove Critical Criteria For Local Law Enforcement Applicants

  • January 18, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    I get it
    LEOs and civilian staffing critical
    Have to think about this one
    To help relieve the budgetary issues. Staffing can be supplemented by contracting civilian positions ie. Lab and evidence processing can be accomplished with the many colleges & universities in Tn.
    Thereby reducing the future tax & spend burdens.
    But that’s just too simple bc agencies always want to increase their slice of the budget pie, and their power/influence
    Politicians always want more and more public employees for the same reasons

  • January 19, 2023 at 12:04 am

    I wonder about Lamberth. For a Republican he don’t think stuff through.

  • January 19, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    I thank non-citizen permanent residents for their military service, but NO non-citizen should be enforcing our laws. Permanent resident aliens can enforce our laws AFTER they become citizens.What’s next, deputize UN troops?
    Tennessee currently has a sizable budget surplus. It looks like Tennessee politicians have no intention of returning the over-taxed money to the citizens, so one way of drawing more applicants to law enforcement would be to use some of this money to increase law enforcement compensation.


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