At a press conference, acting Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy told reporters and officials a story about why he became an officer. He said, when he was growing up, he saw other kids being picked on.
“I saw stronger, bigger kids bullying kids who weren’t able to defend themselves,” he said. “I remember seeing this where I attended at Tyner High School when I saw a kid get picked on in gym class. And I knew then that the direction of my life was to help protect those that were unable to stand up for themselves.”
That’s led to an almost 23-year career on the force. Now, a promotion. The mayor has named Roddy as his choice to be the permanent police chief. Mayor Berke gave several reasons for picking Roddy, who worked his way up from patrol officer to captain of several divisions.
“I picked somebody who leads by example,” Berke said, “thinks about community and safety, thinks about victims and not just perpetrators, and has the organizational know-how to get things done.”
A selection committee named Roddy as a top pick from about 50 applicants. The selection committee included a former U.S. Attorney, the CEO of TechTown, and a pastor.
The City Council must approve the decision before Roddy is promoted. The former chief, Fred Fletcher, started in 2014 and retired last month. Roddy was Fletcher’s chief of staff.
Watch the press conference: