UPDATE: The City of Chattanooga has a new top cop. David Roddy was sworn in as the new chief of the Chattanooga Police Department. He comes with over 20 years of service under his belt, most recently serving as acting chief.
His name will soon appear on the police headquarters doors listed as Chief. He was sworn in on Thursday and his former boss was there to sing his praises.
It’s official: Chattanooga has a new police Chief. “We can get to work now. That is the conversation I have had with a lot of people. It is humbling, it is honoring what happened here today, but for me this just lights the fuse,” said David Roddy.
Chief David Roddy ws joined by his wife and two daughters while being sworn in as the city’s top cop. “I am excited about getting into work, and surrounding myself with the leaders, men and women of that police department, the connections with the community and getting started.”
His vision for the future of Chattanooga is a simple one. “Continue what we started on. A lot of the programs we started over the last few years, we are seeing great successes in those. Success in recruiting, our level of investigation and clearance rates.”
Retired Police Chief, Fred Fletecher, told the crowd this was one of the best moments in his life. He said Chattanoogans are lucky to have David Roddy as their Chief. “I came to Chattanooga several years ago with few friends. I left here recently with a true brother, inspiration, and a role model. You all came here today without a chief. You leave here with a champion, a hero, and a friend.”
But Chief Roddy said it is a group effort needed to move Chattanooga forward. “The committment, the involvement we get from the community, that we see within our department, our other law enforcement partners, other first responders, business leaders, faith based leaders, they are everywhere. Whenever the need is shown, whenver the call goes out, they show up by the dozens,” said Roddy.
Before becoming chief, Roddy was the deputy Chief. That position is now open. Chief Roddy said they are working to fill the vacancies of the executive staff at the department.
Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: Former Acting Police Chief David Roddy was officially sworn in Thursday as Chattanooga Police Chief.
The auditorium was filled for the event, with former CPD Chief Fred Fletcher among those on stage, along with Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.
When introduced, Fletcher received a standing ovation from the crowd, and then spoke of the professional relationship he built with Roddy.
Surrounded by his family, Roddy was sworn in, and was met with a rousing round of applause of his own before he took the podium.
Deputy Chief David Roddy has been with the Chattanooga Police Department for nearly 23 years, starting as a patrol officer and serving in a wide variety of roles during those years.
PREVIOUS STORY: He was groomed by former Chief Fred Fletcher and nominated by Mayor Andy Berke earlier this month.
Now, David Roddy can officially drop the qualifier "acting" from his job title and simply go by chief of the Chattanooga Police Department.
The vote was eight to one at Tuesday night's city council meeting.
Applause filled the room the moment the council's vote was cast.
However, some council members admitted they were torn between Roddy and Assistant Chief Edwin McPherson.
One community member who was in support of McPherson as chief says he will now be in support of Roddy.
“I'm not saying that I won't be up here complaining about something because I want to hold him accountable,” Ricky Robinson tells the council. “But, we need to get behind him and give him a chance. Congratulations!”
David Roddy addressed the council for the second time in one week.
This time he did so as Chattanooga's new police chief.
Eight city council members voted in support of Roddy. Councilman Russell Gilbert voted no.
“I did tell the new chief that I was going to vote no and I said, ‘well, prove me wrong and hopefully that you will do a great job’ and I'm man enough to tell him that I was wrong but I hope that happens,” says Councilman Gilbert.
Gilbert says his district wanted Assistant Chief Edwin McPherson for the job.
Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod says her district wanted McPherson as well. But, she voted for Roddy.
“Who's going to clean up my community,” Coonrod says. “I know it probably sounds selfish, but I need people like McPherson on the ground cleaning up the community.”
Roddy says he's aware of the trust he will have to build with the community.
“My responsibility as chief as well as the responsibility of the department is to continue those conversations and determine what those concerns are and we work towards a solution,” says Chief David Roddy.
As Roddy takes on a new a title, he says he is confident his relationship with McPherson and the entire force will help him make the changes the community wants to see.
“We supported each other through patrol, narcotics enforcement, SWAT operations, supporting his efforts and investigations,” Chief Roddy says. “That's just what Mac and I have always done, so all I see is that growing.”
Roddy's first official day on the job as the chief is still up in the air.
But, he says the department is working on putting together an official swearing in ceremony where he will take the oath of office.
PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga's acting police chief has been picked by the mayor to lead the department. Mayor Andy Berke chose Deputy Chief David Roddy for the job.
The other two finalists included Assistant Chief Edwin McPherson and Commander Todd Chamberlain from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Mayor Berke mentioned the department needed someone "worthy" who would help "inspire officers who risk their lives every day."
Berke said Roddy leads by example, understands the job is about community and safety not about punishment, understand that we have to pay attention to victims not just perpetrators, and organizational skills.
A new name will soon be displayed at the entrance of the Chattanooga Police Services Center.
Deputy Chief David Roddy has been serving as acting chief. He's been with the Chattanooga Police Department for nearly 23 years and has worked his way up the ranks.
Out of 49 applicants, a selection committee narrowed it down to three. The mayor said Roddy stood out.
"Over the last three years, I've seen him get it done. We've had tremendous amount of progress. Our police department has been through a lot. He's been there every step of the way making sure great things happen and that's a huge reason why I picked him," Mayor Andy Berke said.
The acting chief wants to continue what former Chief Fred Fletcher started. That includes using the most up to date technology and community policing.
He also wants the violence reduction initiative or VRI to stick around.
"It is just another toolbox and I believe it should stay because we've seen its effectiveness with the individuals that have attended the call ins," Acting Chief David Roddy said.
Councilman Anthony Byrd believes changes should be made to the program.
"They did have right components to it and some of the components were good, but it's kind of hard to voice that to a parent who is losing their child," Councilman Anthony Byrd of District 8 said.
He also said there should be more of a focus on inner city neighborhoods. If Roddy is approved by city council members, he hopes he'll make that a priority.
"Roddy's going to have to keep people in place and make sure that those people are there, hands on, talking to the people, understanding who they are, what they are, and able to speak the language," Byrd said.
The acting chief said he wants to lead the department with focus. He wants to hear from people about their concerns.
"My first priority is to stop for a moment and give people the opportunity to express that to me, express that to this department, and then we develop those goals and those missions together," Roddy said.
City council members are expected to approve the mayor's pick later this month.
The Concerned Citizens for Justice group issued a statement following the announcement:
"From the beginning of the Chattanooga Police Chief search, CCJ has maintained that we need community control over the police and a participatory budgeting process for the city budget regardless of who is appointed. However, we are concerned about the Berke Administration’s nomination of acting Chief David Roddy as he has been a vocal advocate of increased police funding, surveillance, and militarization. The announcement comes on the heels of the administration’s newly released budget that includes another 10% increase to the already bloated police budget. These two actions indicate that Mayor Berke and the CPD plan to continue the failed strategy of addressing the crime and violence that results from social, economic, and racial inequality with more police funding and technology. We need and demand community control."
Stay with WRCBtv.com for more details on this developing story.
PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has announced his three finalists for Chattanooga Chief of Police.
The five-person search committee named by Mayor Berke to review and interview individuals seeking the top post at the Chattanooga Police Department made their final recommendations to the Mayor on Monday.
From the 49 applications submitted for the position, the committee selected current acting Chief David Roddy, Assistant Chief Edwin McPherson, and Commander Todd Chamberlain of the Los Angeles Police Department. The committee was only tasked with narrowing the pool down to a top three.
The committee offered a joint statement from all five members stating, “We feel like this has been an open, fair and deliberative process. We appreciate every applicant’s willingness to serve the City of Chattanooga and offer our congratulations to the three finalists. Each of them brings decades of experience and a thorough knowledge of law enforcement to the position. Any of them would make an incredible leader for the department.”
The Mayor will begin conducting final interviews with these individuals and make his selection to lead the department in the next two weeks. Once the Mayor makes his selection, the appointment will be added to the City Council agenda for their consideration per the City Charter.
PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga's top cop will retire next week after serving the area for three years.
Channel 3 is now getting a closer look at who wants to take on the police chief role and why. Forty-nine people have applied from 16 different states.
READ MORE | CPD Chief Fred Fletcher to retire
About a fifth of the people who applied are from right here in the Tennessee Valley. Six are already working for the Chattanooga Police Department.
47 men and two women from across the country want to be Chattanooga's next police chief. They all want the same position, but their visions are different.
In some applications, candidates include a letter about why they're passionate about the job.
Chattanooga Police Captain Jerri Sutton wrote to Mayor Andy Berke that she's worked in several neighborhoods "advocating for, promoting, protecting, and serving."
She wants to "improve the quality of life in this beautiful city."
Assistant Chief of the Criminal Investigations Bureau Edwin McPherson wrote that some highlights of his career include "serving as a change agent for cpd by instituting new crime fighting tactical and organizational practices."
His primary goal as chief would be to combat violent crime with the help of the community and law enforcement partners.
Of the 49 candidates, six are serving as police chiefs.
Dwayne Wheeler, the police chief in Kincaid, Illinois, wrote what he could bring to the area.
He said he's "achieved lowered crime rates, heightened security, while strengthening productivity and increasing quality of life across the community" where he's served.
James Womack, the police chief in Lake Worth, Texas, said he'd be an effective leader for any organization.
He said he's "developed a passion and personal commitment to public service, team work, and community policing."
It's now up to selection committee members to sift through these applicants and narrow them down to the top three.
Mayor Andy Berke will pick from their recommendations. His choice will still have to be approved by city council members.
If a new police chief isn't picked before Chief Fred Fletcher retires next Thursday, the mayor can appoint an interim chief.
Below is a full list of the applicants:
PREVIOUS STORY: Channel 3 is getting a look at who wants to be Chattanooga's next police chief. 49 people applied before Tuesday's deadline.
It was extended by more than a week.
Channel 3 found out there are some familiar faces hoping to land the job.
READ MORE | CPD Chief Fred Fletcher to retire
There are several internal candidates from the Chattanooga Police Department including Chief of Staff David Roddy, Captain Glenn Scruggs, Captain Jerri Sutton, Assistant Chief of Special Operations Bureau Danna Vaughn, and Assistant Chief of Criminal Investigations Bureau Edwin McPherson.
Fired Red Bank Police Chief Timothy Christol also applied.
It's now up to a selection committee to narrow it down to the three best applicants.
Starting next week, a selection committee appointed by Mayor Andy Berke is expected to start interviewing applicants for Chattanooga's next police chief. 49 people want the job.
"It appears to me from some of the applications we reviewed that there are a number of quality people who have applied," Bill Killian, a selection committee member said.
Former U.S. Attorney Bill Killian is one of five on that committee. Other committee members include former District Attorney Bill Cox, community leader Olga de Klein, Pastor Ternae Jordan, and CEO Chris Ramsey.
Judge Christie Sell recused herself from the committee.
Killian said the applicants come from different parts of the country. Some as far away as California.
Others are closer to home and already employed by the police department.
"The job of police chief is one that requires a number of talents and you have to deal with certain segments of not only law enforcement and within your department, but also of the society you serve," Killian said.
Killian said not everyone will be granted an interview, but those who make the cut will have to answer a series of questions about experience, leadership, and integrity.
He said the committee process offers transparency allowing the community to watch as the group narrows the list of names to submit for the mayor's consideration.
Mayor Berke will make the final call.
"The public needs to have confidence in the process itself that it was run properly, fairly, and equal," Killian said.
The goal is that a new police chief will be picked before Chief Fred Fletcher retires on July 6.
City officials said if the selection committee needs more time, the mayor will appoint an interim chief.
PREVIOUS STORY: The City of Chattanooga announced details on the process of hiring a new chief of police with the city's police department.
In April, Chief Fred Fletcher announced that he was retiring at the end of his contract in July.
READ MORE | CPD Chief Fred Fletcher to retire
A press release says the city will enlist the help of the community to inform the selection criteria. The selection committee, which will recommend final applicants to Mayor Andy Berke, also includes community representation.
“Establishing a committee made up of community members and external stakeholders is the same formula we used to select Chief Fletcher,” said Mayor Andy Berke. “That strategy produced great results last time and I am confident it will help us again determine the right chief to lead our police department forward.”
Applications for the position will be accepted from May 17th until June 5th. The selection committee will review all applications, narrow the field, and interview finalists. The committee will submit three applicants to Mayor Berke.
The six-person selection committee was chosen for their diverse backgrounds as well as their specific areas of expertise, both in the public safety/judicial system and within the community. The committee includes former District Attorney Bill Cox, former chairperson of Highland Park Neighborhood Association’s Safety Committee Olga de Klein, former US Attorney Bill Killian, Pastor Ternae Jordan of Mt. Canaan Baptist Church, TechTown CEO Chris Ramsey, and the Honorable Judge Christie Sell.
In addition to a selection committee, the Citizen Safety Coalition will develop a citizen survey to help inform the review criteria used during the selection process. This survey will also be used to determine interview questions for potential applicants. The Citizen Safety Coalition encourages all citizens to provide their feedback on the selection of a police chief and help facilitate the outreach effort by sharing the survey, which will be distributed and made available online.