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Nominated Memphis Police chief Cerelyn "CJ" Davis answers wide-range of questions from Memphians in virtual forum

The Memphis NAACP moderated the event. The mayor's pick for top cop still faces a final city council vote next week.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Via Zoom from North Carolina Friday, nominated Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn "CJ" Davis laid out her vision for MPD if approved as the next top cop.

That included improving law enforcement transparency. 

"We need to regularly analyze data related to police officer encounters, which could point to racial profiling and other abuses such as use of force," Davis said.

Davis added the information access she oversaw as Durham Police Chief could help expand the current Memphis Police dashboard, where the public can look up investigations involving personnel.

"In my current work, we have a quarterly report on traffic stop data - not just on traffic stop data but also on disciplinary actions, use of force data as well," Davis said.

She addressed ways to cut down interstate shootings, including extending partnerships with state highway patrol.

"This is one of those situations that requires sustainable types of maintenance plans," Davis said.

If approved as MPD Chief, Davis plans to implement a misdemeanor diversion program like the one in Durham, which expunges certain first-time misdemeanor offenders from the system.

"A charge on a person's record can make the difference of them continuing in a positive trajectory in their lives or having a tarnished record where they can't get a job," Davis said.

The police veteran also mentioned young people throughout the forum and encouraged more positive programs for them before it's too late.

"We must invest in prevention, we must invest in intervention and get our young people involved in the discussion about what they want to see in their communities," Davis said.

The Memphis City Council is expected to vote Tuesday evening whether to approve CJ Davis as the next Memphis Police Chief.