Last night the Citizens/Police Interaction Committee celebrated the retirement of Captain Nealie Hogg from the Chattanooga Police Department, as well as his legacy of service, communication, and support for the neighborhoods of Echo and Fox zones throughout his tenure.
CPIC has served as a primary vehicle of communication between block leaders and neighborhood associations and police patrol officers for years, resulting in innumerable intelligence reports, personal contacts by neighborhood leaders and patrol officers, necessary arrests, and various community improvements. This has been continued and enhanced as a result of the respect and personal relationships being carried forward by Commander Lieutenant Glenn Scruggs as part of Captain Hogg's legacy of commitment to the neighborhoods and citizens of Chattanooga.
This continues a legacy of powerfully effective community policing developed and promoted by a number of extraordinary law enforcement professionals too long to list but including Janice Atkinson, Vivian Hixson, Julie Dean, Randy Dunn, Lee Jay Hicks, and a series of strong chief executives with powerful street and professional expertise including Freeman Cooper, Steve Parks, J.L. Dotson, and present Chief Bobby Dodd.
My family has been in Chattanooga on one side since the dirt, and on the other since the mud. We have a sensationally diverse, wonderful, and amazing community in so many ways. Yet the thin blue line that protects our innocents from the vicious, vile, venomous vermin that walk the same streets as our children is strained, and depends on the right actions of good people to be as effective as possible. Community policing and community activism make that thin blue line stronger and more resilient.
My grandmother's first cousin was longtime chief of detectives Pete Davis, and a story is told about an occasion when a notorious gangster was holed up on 9th Street (as it was known then) and nobody could figure out how to extract him without creating a big and dangerous scene in the community. Pete got tired of talking about it and all the complicated scenarios and just went up there alone, walked in, and walked the guy back to the old city jail by himself.
These leaders I mention became leaders because they were and are willing to step in themselves and make the right thing happen, often at personal risk. Not primarily because they are law enforcement professionals, but because that's the kind of people they are, and they would have impacted whatever career and community they pursued in the same way. That's the kind of city, neighborhood, block, and family leaders we need. Those that desire, expect, and are willing to commit to the necessary action to make sure our families and community are safe. That's the kind of guy Nealie Hogg is. That's why he was celebrated last night. Go Team.