Berke taps Austin's Fletcher for Chattanooga Police Chief - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Berke taps Austin's Fletcher for Chattanooga Police Chief

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - "I'd like to introduce to you the next Chief of the Chattanooga Police Department... Fred Fletcher," said a smiling Mayor Berke.

Three hours after offering the job to Austin, Texas police commander Fred Fletcher Thursday morning, he was being introduced as Chattanooga's next Chief of Police.

"I wasn't looking for an opportunity to be a police chief, I was looking for an opportunity to help a community and to become a part of the community and Chattanooga is the kind of community I want to call home and serve," said the designated chief, who says he based his acceptance on one factor; people.

However, Mayor Berke had more points to consider that led him to selecting Fletcher.

"Austin is the second safest big city in the country, if you look at the numbers in the area he commands, you will see double digit reductions in property crime and violent crime," said Mayor Berke, who also cited Fletcher's familiarity to Austin's drug market intervention project, similarly styled to Berke's VRI, both based of the High Point model.

"He started doing that model not knowing that this model was being used across the country and came to the model after he started down the road of implementing it, which shows to me a way of thinking, as I've said before, VRI is not a program, its a way of approaching police work and community," underscored Berke.

"We talk about the golden rule which is treating people the way they should be treated," said Fletcher at his introductory news conference Thursday afternoon."I don't really believe in that, I believe in the bigger cousin, the platinum rule, you treat people the way they need to be treated,  and until you know how they need to be treated what's important to them, I don't know how to treat them."


Chattanooga District 8 City Councilman Moses Freeman, who heads the Council's Public Safety Committee, says Fletcher's so-called "platinum rule" will help him bridge the gap of Chattanooga's diverse community.

"He's a good man and comes very well recommended by the NAACP of Austin, Texas," noted Freeman.

Fletcher's hire is contingent on approval from Chattanooga City Council.
An official start date for Fletcher has not been revealed.
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