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Knoxville City Council to discuss state-required PARC changes during Tuesday meeting

Council members will also vote on whether to spend around $21,000 to support community organizations.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville City Council is going to meet on Tuesday, where members will discuss and vote on an agenda that includes resolutions to fund various aspects of the Knoxville community. They will also vote on an ordinance that could change the policies surrounding the Police Advisory and Review Committee, as required by state law.

In May 2023, the state legislature passed a law that effectively eliminated community boards with police oversight power. The law requires community boards across the state to officially transform into police advisory and review committees, which have specific restrictions on their oversight powers.

The legislation was modeled after Knoxville's PARC.

The ordinance on the city council's agenda only allows mayor-appointed members to refer complaints to law enforcement's internal affairs units, rather than allowing boards to independently investigate complaints.

Knoxville's PARC also would no longer have subpoena power, and would not be able to compel officers to testify before the committee. Knoxville's PARC had not previously used its subpoena power, and the city council would be able to issue subpoenas on the committee's behalf.

The new law also requires city governments across the state to gather a two-thirds vote to create new committees, at two separate meetings. Committees consist of seven members that are appointed by the mayor and are confirmed by a majority vote of the "local governing body."

The Knoxville City Council will also vote on whether to spend a total of $21,415 from the community improvement fund to support community agencies' programs and projects.

For example, they will discuss whether to spend $850 so the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee can provide Thanksgiving turkeys. They also would give $1,400 to the Knoxville Opera Company for their Rossini Festival, and give Theatre Knoxville Downtown $1,550 for a visibility campaign.

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