Chattanooga Police Department Chief Fred Fletcher will retire once his three-year contract with the city has been fulfilled.

“Serving the brave and selfless men and women of your Chattanooga Police Department as they protect our community has been the absolute highlight of my professional career,” said Chief Fred Fletcher.  “I have learned a great deal from your police officers and from our Department. I have learned how to be a better cop, a better leader, and a better person.”

The news comes as the city's Violence Reduction Initiative become a troublesome issue for the city and the hope of combating gang violence waned.

Fletcher was leading the CPD during some of the most sobering events in the city's history; the June 2015 rescue effort after a nine-vehicle crash on 1-75 that killed six people, the July 16, 2015 domestic terror attack that claimed the lives of five U.S. servicemen and the November, 2016 Woodmore school bus tragedy. 

Chattanooga City Code requires Mayor Andy Berke to reappoint Fletcher, offering his name for confirmation by the incoming City Council on April 18, 2017, according to Elisa Myzal, CPD Communications Coordinator.

Over the coming weeks, a transition plan will be developed that will include the process for selecting the next Chief of Police. Fletcher will continue to serve as Chief until his contract ends on July 6, 2017.