Berke Names Fred Fletcher, Of Austin, Tex., New Chattanooga Police Chief

Thursday, April 24, 2014
Mayor Berke introduces new police chief
Mayor Berke introduces new police chief
- photo by Brent McDonald (See video on NewsChannel 9)
Mayor Andy Berke announced Thursday that Fred Fletcher of Austin, Tex., is his pick for Chattanooga Chief of Police. With 20 years of experience in law enforcement, Mr. Fletcher has served in an executive, command, or supervisory role for 12 years.  As commander in Region III of the Austin Police Department, Mr. Fletcher spearheaded community initiatives including a drug market intervention that shares the same principles with David Kennedy’s initiatives, including the Chattanooga Violence Reduction Initiative.

“I have made public safety my top priority since day one and I have every confidence that Fred is the right person to join me in that effort” said Mayor Berke. “This is an important moment for the future of our city. Fred is a smart, energetic individual who had the experience, skills, and energy we need leading the talented men and women at the Chattanooga Police Department.”

The mayor's office said, "Throughout his career, Mr. Fletcher has focused on making Austin a safer city. In his current position, he commands 218 sworn personnel including patrol, investigative, undercover street crimes and community policing units, in a region of Austin with a population of 170,000 citizens. Austin is the fourth largest city in Texas with a total population of over 800,000.

"In his leadership position, Mr. Fletcher implemented community outreach programs to improve the relationships between police officers and neighborhoods. His hands-on approach to leadership has built bridges both inside and outside of the police force and his dedication to crime reduction has produced significant results: Mr.  Fletcher’s Region III saw a 14 percent reduction in crime from 2012 to 2013 and Austin has been named the second safest large city in the nation."

On Thursday, Mr. Fletcher met with leaders within the police department before speaking to a lineup of rank and file officers at 3 p.m. He is meeting with community and neighborhood leaders throughout the day tomorrow.

Mr. Fletcher will come before City Council for confirmation in the coming weeks and, once confirmed, begin as Chattanooga’s police chief after he serves his notice at his current position.

Mr. Fletcher will lead the Chattanooga Police Department at a salary of $142,500 which is comparable to cities of Chattanooga's size throughout the Southeast, the mayor said. As commander, his salary in Austin was $144,654. 

Mayor and new chief
Mayor and new chief
- Photo2 by Brent McDonald (See video on NewsChannel 9)

1 Person Killed In Wreck On I-75 In Whitfield County

One person died in a crash on I-75 in Whitfield County on Saturday. The wreck happened near exit 348 in the southbound lane. Traffic was backed up for miles after the accident. (click for more)

Over $30,000 Of High-End Men's Clothing Stolen From Hardwick & Co. In Cleveland

Cleveland Police said over $30,000 worth of high-end men's clothing was stolen from Hardwick & Co on Oak Street. The burglary happened sometime Friday night. Items stolen included name brands such as British Belt Company, Dubarry Azores Shoes, Jack of Spades Pants, John Peter London Pants and button down Shirts, Lucky Brand Jeans, and Tailor Byrd Button Down Shirts. ... (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)

Gonsalves Earns First Double-A Win in 5-3 Victory Against Jackson

Left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves only allowed two runs on six hits while striking out six batters in five innings to earn his first ever Double-A win. The Lookouts 5-3 win was there second of the second half and improves their overall record to 38-35. For the last six weeks or more, many have been wondering when Gonsalves would be promoted to Double-A. Tonight, he made ... (click for more)

Prep Football Jamboree is Aug 12-13 at Finley Stadium

Highlighted by a match-up of state semifinalists in Baylor and Notre Dame, the 57th annual Prep Football Jamboree is set for Aug. 12-13 at Finley Stadium with five games each night. Baylor (10-3) reached the D-II AA semis before losing to eventual state champ Brentwood Academy, while Notre Dame (10-4) reached the D-I 3A semis before losing to eventual state champion Alcoa. ... (click for more)