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Channel 3 sits down one-on-one with new CPD Chief David Roddy

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Chattanooga's new police chief is now five days on the job. 

He says his transition into the role has been seamless thanks to the community's support. 

David Roddy says the goal for his first year as chief is to figure out what the community wants and what his next step should be in the fight against crime, all while juggling being a husband and a father of two daughters.

Despite the new title, he says he's still human just like everyone else. However, he says he's still getting used to the celebrity that comes with that title. Roddy says his daughters were apprehensive about it before he was sworn into office as chief. 

"It was a really great experience to be able to see them grow that little bit through a ceremony for this," said Roddy. "David is still David, but I now have the ability to meet people that I may have never met before; to stand in certain places and see or experience part of the city just as a representative of the department that not everybody gets the ability to do that," said Roddy. 

Wearing a police uniform has been Roddy's dream since he was a kid. That dream became reality when he joined the Chattanooga police force 23 years ago. 

Roddy was born and raised  in Chattanooga, graduated from Tyner and later received a bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University. In his 23 years of experience, he has held positions ranging from patrol, patrol supervisor, street crimes investigator, gang investigator, special operations commander, SWAT commander, patrol sector commander and the internal affairs commander.

A lot of people think he always looks serious, but Roddy has a contagious sense of humor. 

"Sometimes we have to be a little picky about when we show that that doesn't mean that it's not inside of every single person that wears this uniform," said Roddy. "I think my career in law-enforcement and my personality alone has been let's work together. Let's do some great things. Let's get it done and look for the next thing that we can do; the next accomplishment and the next challenge." 

Roddy says he's usually up at four or five each morning. The first thing he does is check emails, text messages and now social media. 

"The best thing is that I get the opportunity to read about the great work that our officers did while I was asleep but it also puts me at ease because I get to see that all of my officers went home," said Roddy. 

Roddy leads more than 400 Chattanooga police officers. He says they're reminded everyday that change will happen they step our of their comfort zones.

READ MORE | UPDATE: David Roddy sworn in as new Chief of Chattanooga Police Dept.

"Don't sit back. Don't celebrate. Don't rest on your laurels too much because there's another uncomfortable place that we need to get you; that our community relies on us to get to in order to keep them safe," said Roddy. 

Roddy says community input will also help keep citizens safe. That same input helped launch the placement of 15 CrimeEye cameras in certain locations. Roddy says it's where the most violent crimes have happened in the past three years. Chanel 3 asked Roddy what he thinks about residents who live near those areas, feeling like they're being targeted. 

"Certain parts of the city that suffer high crime rates expressed concern over the manner in which policing occurs in their neighborhood, but sometimes in the same breath they ask for more police. It's a bit of an overlap there so now we figure out what parts of our city want from his police department? what that actually looks like when it's applied and then what are we trying to do to work to achieve that?"

Roddy says he's humbled by the community's support, and looks forward to helping the people of Chattanooga, who step up in the worst of times. 

"It's great every single time I have seen it and it will be great and every time I see it from now, because I know it will happen again and Chattanooga will respond and help Chattanoogans." 

Roddy's former position; Deputy Chief is still open. He says they are working to fill the vacancies of the executive staff at the department.

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