Secret Service shuns Metro police during first lady visit - WSMV News 4

Secret Service shuns Metro police during first lady visit

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First lady Michelle Obama is visiting Nashville this weekend to speak at Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School's graduation, but Metro police won't play a major role in her security during the visit.

The Secret Service has informed local police to stay out of the security planning for the first lady's visit, which includes the ceremony at Tennessee State University's Gentry Center.

Secret Service officials said there will be no compromise in the security arrangements for this visit, and the disagreement seems to center on the motorcade plan for the first lady.

According to a Secret Service spokesperson, the agency had very specific plans as to how they wanted things handled, but according to them, Metro police officials were either not able to or willing to go along with that plan.

Metro police responded, saying they, "developed a plan, part of which would have utilized a rolling roadblock and the stationing of officers along the North Nashville motorcade route, which would have absolutely protected Mrs. Obama, while at the same time, causing minimal inconvenience to other motorists and citizens."

The Secret Service would not say what their plan entails but did say the group will now work with other state and federal authorities to protect the first lady.

Metro police had planned to put roughly 20 officers around the Gentry Center, use its bomb sniffing dogs and have 12 officers helping with the motorcade.

And even though that help is no longer requested, Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said his officers will still be present at the Gentry Center. Meantime, he's asking the Secret Service to re-think its decision.

Along with the motorcade disagreement, another issue seems to be over the control of officers. Anderson made it clear that while the secret service was in charge of protecting the first lady, Metro police would have total control over its own officers - not the Secret Service.

A shooting occurred during a Maplewood High School graduation on the TSU campus in 2009, but Metro police and the Secret Service said that shooting is not a factor in the security plan for Mrs. Obama.

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