Lawmakers file bill that bans residency requirements for first responders
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – A proposed Tennessee bill seeks to ban local government residency requirements for full-time law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
It’s proposed legislation that Chattanooga Public Safety Committee Chair Councilman Anthony Byrd believes would affect the city in a good way.
“Because now they can also reach across state lines and other places to get the help that they need, because so many of our first responders are short staffed and just need more help,” Councilman Byrd said.
The City of Chattanooga does have a residency requirement for its firefighters and police officers.
That is that they must live in the state.
Chattanooga Fire Chief Phil Hyman feels the proposed bill could be positive for his department.
“It could be really good for us because we would be able to hire out of state which is different than what we’ve had to do in years past. Folks wouldn’t have to uproot and move to Tennessee,” he said in a statement.
A Chattanooga Police spokesperson said that the proposed bill might not have the impact it would in other cities where officers are required to live in the city they work.
They added that the police department is still filling academies, but diversity continues to lack.