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'Lessons are being learned.' Council to vote on commission to study how Nashville handled bombing

christmas day bombing
Posted at 8:04 PM, Feb 03, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro council members are a vote away from creating a special commission to review the Christmas bombing.

"For extraordinary events, it's appropriate to have extraordinary checks and balances," said Councilman-At-Large Bob Mendes.

Mendes is sponsoring the bill that would create a nine person team to review the suicide bombing. It would be similar to the 9-11 Commission.

"After 9-11, there was a pretty substantial 9-11 Commission, and the idea is to really let them exercise their discretion about where the report should lead us," Mendes said.

The catastrophic explosion is already the subject of multiple reviews. Metro Nashville Police are looking into their history with bomber Anthony Warner. The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board is said to be investigating why the 911 relay system failed.

"Having this public facing accountability will hopefully give the public the genuine sense that this hasn't been forgotten. Lessons are being learned," Mendes said.

Metro Public Safety Committee Chair Jennifer Gamble would be on the commission. She is interested in hearing from eyewitnesses.

"I would hope all of those people would have an opportunity, even if they don't serve on the commission, [to] come and be interviewed and tell us their story, their experiences," said Jennifer Gamble.

The council members said the bombing on 2nd Avenue exposed weak spots in a number of areas.

"It implicates so many things. The fire response, emergency communications, the public's communications, police, Public works, Codes. It goes on and on and on," Mendes said.

The vote to approve the commission is February 16.