Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has announced his pick for police chief: acting Chief David Roddy.
Roddy was appointed to take the helm after the retirement last month of former police Chief Fred Fletcher. Roddy was picked by Fletcher to be his chief of staff in July 2014.
Over the course of 23 years with the Chattanooga Police Department, Roddy worked his way up from a position as patrol officer and served as a captain over several divisions, including uniformed services and internal affairs.
Berke chose Roddy over Assistant Chief Edwin McPherson, another member of the Chattanooga Police Department’s senior administration, as well as Capt. Todd Chamberlain of the Los Angeles Police Department.
The mayor said Chief Roddy leads by example, understands that the job is about community and safety and not just about catching people, understands that it is important to pay attention to victims and not just perpetrators, and he has organizational know how.
He said he had been integral in reorganizing the department and in improving the police pay system.
Mayor Berke said, “There were extraordinarily gifted candidates that I had to choose from.”
Chief Roddy said, “Thank you for the confidence you have placed in me.”
He said many in the community took part in making the selection process “fair and transparent.”
The new chief said, “I knew I wanted to be a police officer from the time I was a kid” after seeing “kids get picked on.”
He said, “I knew my direction in life was to help protect those who could not protect themselves.”
Chief Roddy said officers contribute from helping to change a tire to saving a life.
He said police officers “are heroes who stand between violence and the community.”
The officer for nearly 23 years said there will be a focus “on individuals who willfully do harm.”
Also, he said officers will be involved in mentoring youth and in reaching new ties with community members.”
McPherson brought 25 years of experience in the department to the table and has held several command positions, including assistant chief of criminal investigations bureau where he was commander of all criminal investigations.
Chamberlain was the only external candidate recommended to Berke by a five-person search committee he picked to vet the candidates. He offered more than 30 years of experience with one of the nation’s largest metropolitan police departments, where he has served as a police commander since 2010.
Berke’s choice will need to be ratified by the Chattanooga City Council before the decision is made final.