UPDATE: One-on-one with new Cleveland Police Chief Mark Gibson
CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -
Mark Gibson was named as chief of police over the weekend and had his first day on the job Monday.
Gibson will take his Oath of Office during the official City Council meeting on Monday, September 28 at 3 p.m.
Gibson started with Cleveland as a patrol officer in 1997 and worked his way up to captain, then interim chief this past year when he lead the department through several high-profile scandals. Most recently, an officer was indicted last week on charges of insurance fraud.
"The relationship between the citizens and the police department is kinda on a fine line," Gibson said. "We've got to be the ones who step forward and make an improvement. The citizens will meet us halfway."
Gibson said externally, he wants to work on community relations. Internally, he wants to get a sense of normalcy back in his department. He said he wants to begin filling his command staff positions as soon as possible and meeting with officers to go over expectations. He also wants to work on the hiring and firing process. As it stands now, the police chief can only recommend discipline to the city manager who makes the final call.
"If that individual doesn't need to be a member of the Cleveland Police Department anymore, we need to be able to remove them and remove them quickly and open that spot up to somebody truly dedicated to the job and wants to do the job," he said.
Gibson says he's not ditching his uniform for a suit and tie. He'll continue to wear the badge on his sleeve every day but this time with a different title. He was born and raised in Cleveland. He lives there with his wife, 14-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.
Chief Gibson has been described by the public as "a man of character, a positive person who loves his family, the Cleveland Police Department, his City, and his Country."
“Mark’s unwavering dedication to his profession is demonstrated by the characteristics that he displays each day in all situations in life. I personally know Mark to be a family man with strong moral ethics. I believe that his focus will be on serving the well-being of the citizens of Cleveland and upholding the responsibilities of the office of Police Chief.” said a community member.
The public is invited to attend. There will be a reception following the City Council meeting to be held in the Police Service Center Community Room on September 28.