Police chiefs want to close loophole

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Tennessee Police Chiefs Association wants state lawmakers to close a loophole so juveniles older than 14 must register with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation when convicted as an adult of a violent sex crime.

Currently, juveniles age 14 and older are not required to register with the sex offender registry maintained online if they commit a violent sex offense and are adjudicated as an adult, Lewisburg Police Chief Chuck Forbis said Monday.

Forbis is a member of the Legislative Committee of the Chiefs Association that met in Nashville last week. The association's proposed legislation would "close the loophole," Forbis said.

Other concerns the association wants addressed include bills to:

* Stop people who travel out of state to obtain prescription medicine there for resale here.

* Enhance the penalties for the possession and/or sale of the pain killer oxycodone.

The penalty depends on the amount of drugs held and/or sold, Forbis said. If the amount were in excess of 50 grams, the punishment would be at one level. If someone has more than 100 pills, then the offense is a Class B felony.

"We'd like that to become a Class A felony," the chief said.

Members of the association reviewed 16 issues submitted by various chiefs across the state.

"We can't address that many, but we can focus on some," Forbis said.

"Our association monitors many other bills that come thorough, but who knows what new legislation will be introduced in the upcoming session," Forbis said.