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)

Nissan Altima Crashes Into Cleveland Habitat For Humanity ReStore

A white 1999 Nissan Altima crashed into the Habitat for Humanity's ReStore at 4605 North Lee Highway in Cleveland on Tuesday. The incident happened at 2:30 p.m. The driver, identified as Betty Rutledge, 77, and the passenger, Francis Swafford, 79, were both transported to SkyRidge Medical Center with minor injuries. No other individuals were injured in the crash. Property ... (click for more)

Trio Robs Gas Station In Cleveland

Three black males robbed a gas station in Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon. Officers responded to the Hi-Tech gas station and convenience store at 2293 APD 40 at 2:42 p.m. after a 911 call came in as a robbery in progress. According to witness statements, the men entered the store and took an undisclosed amount of money. They left in a black-colored vehicle thought to be a ... (click for more)

I'm Number One In A Round About Way

Roundabouts have been popping up all over Chattanooga over the past few years and for the most part have been successful.  Unfortunately there are some who just don’t get it as I have found out the hard way.    My latest instance was last week when a young woman on her cell phone almost t-boned me as she flew into the roundabout without yielding.  A near miss ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Judge Philyaw Is The Best

Tomorrow morning there will be a special gathering at the Hamilton County Juvenile Court that will prove to our community that we have perhaps the most innovative juvenile judge in America. Shortly after Rob Philyaw was hand-picked by our Hamilton County Commissioners to fill the remainder of Suzanne Bailey’s term 15 months ago, he found that truancy was a big problem in our schools. ... (click for more)

Vols Open 2018 Season Against West Virginia In Charlotte

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.   – The Charlotte Sports Foundation announced Tuesday that the Tennessee Volunteers will open the 2018 season on September 1 against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. All information related to kickoff date, time and tickets will be announced at ... (click for more)

Local Swimmers Excel At Georgia, Tennessee State Meets

Several Chattanooga-area swimmers had successful weekends in various meets this past weekend. The McCallie/GPS Aquatics team finished sixth out of 50 teams at the Southeastern Swimming Championship in Knoxville while swimmers from Fort Oglethorpe and Ringgold also had memorable performances at the Georgia State Meet, also held last weekend. The McCallie/GPS team recorded ... (click for more)