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)

16,863 Have Voted Early Thus Far

There have been 16,863 to vote early in Hamilton County thus far. That includes 4,286 asking for Democratic ballots and 12,378 asking for Republican ballots. Here are the results from Thursday: ABSENTEE/BY MAIL Ballot Type - D 96 Ballot Type - G 77 Ballot Type - R 243 Location Totals 416 BRAINERD REC CTR Ballot Type - D 1,779 Ballot Type - G 10 Ballot Type ... (click for more)

Corker Says Congress’ Irresponsibility Burdening States, Cities And Future Generations

Senator Bob Corker on Thursday voted against legislation to temporarily patch the Highway Trust Fund by transferring nearly $10 billion from the general fund. The $10 billion transfer is spent within a few months but paid for over 10 years using budget gimmicks, he said. “It’s sad that the default mode in Congress is to pass one short-term patch after another, burdening our states, ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Orchids And Onions

With record low temperatures being recorded around the South, I didn’t know what I’d find in my garden on the first day of August but – sure enough -- there is a profusion of orchids and onions. The start of college football will be later this month and, with the chilly mornings, fall practice is a far cry from what it will be when the sweltering heat comes back next week. Here’s ... (click for more)

Live Viewing Party Of The National Championship Offered At First Tennessee Pavilion

Chattanooga Football Club fans will get one more chance to gather and cheer on the team as it battles for the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) National Championship powered by Mitre.  On Saturday, from 7-11:30 p.m. at the First Tennessee Pavilion, Big River Brewing Company, Volkswagen Chattanooga, Memorial, Finley Stadium, and EPB Fiber Optics are hosting ... (click for more)

Jane Webb Is A Fun-Loving Runner At Heart

Jane Webb isn’t one of those people who started running when she was a kid, but she loves the benefits since she restarted her running career about four years ago. She’s all about being active and doing things that are good for you,   but long-distance running never really captured her attention and she’s found that she can receive the same payoff by covering ... (click for more)