Alisha Shoates James began her law enforcement career with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) in January 2005. After working patrol for several years, she was selected to join the Crime Suppression Unit (CSU). While working in the CSU as an undercover detective, Alisha participated in numerous criminal investigations, obtained and served search warrants, participated in undercover narcotics operations, participated in undercover prostitution operations, and conducted surveillance. All of which resulted in several state and federal convictions.
In late 2008, Alisha was selected to work in the background and recruiting division. While her primary duty was to conduct background investigations for police applicants, she was tasked with developing innovative methods to recruit more minorities and women for MNPD. In September 2009, Alisha was selected to serve as a White House Intern under the Obama Administration in the Office of Presidential Personnel. With approval from the Chief of Police and the Mayor, Alisha was allowed to work at the White House as a special assignment to gain experience vetting and hiring potential employees. While at the White House, Alisha worked on several special projects and events which required the President’s attendance. After returning to MNPD, Alisha independently created, developed, and implemented the Metro Nashville Police Department’s internship program which continues to be used by the agency today.
In 2010, Alisha was selected to join the elite trainee operations division at the MNPD’s training academy. She assisted with operating a paramilitary style academy which included: physical fitness instruction, classroom instruction on various subjects, and assisting with firearms and defensive tactics for police recruits.
In August 2011, Alisha joined United States Probation and Pretrial (USPO) Middle District of Tennessee, which is a fully accredited federal law enforcement agency. During her tenure working for the United States District Courts, she conducted investigations and prepared reports that included recommendations for sentencing of individuals convicted of federal offenses. Investigations included cases involving mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, narcotics, firearms violations, and illegal reentry. Furthermore, Alisha provided testimony as to the basis for factual findings and guideline applications and served as a resource to the Court and attorneys. Alisha served as a firearms instructor, non-lethal training ammunitions instructor, and assisted with defensive tactics and scenario based training for all sworn officers. She served as the training coordinator for both sworn and civilian employees and managed the internship program.
Presently, Alisha serves as the Assistant Commissioner of Community Supervision for the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC), which is a fully accredited state law enforcement agency. In her current role in she oversees nearly 1,000 employees who are responsible for the supervision of approximately 80,000 offenders in the community. Ms. James joined TDOC in 2014 as a regional administrator. She acts as a representative for TDOC in performing important public contact and liaison work with other law enforcement agencies, court representatives, legislators, community leaders, and the general public. Collaboratively with other subject matter experts, Alisha worked to draft the Use of Force, Lethal Force, and Firearms policies for the entire agency. She serves as an adept subject matter point of contact for any firearms or defensive tactics related issues for community supervision statewide.