The new Chattanooga Police Chief says it was a humbling experience, being sworn in while a packed auditorium at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga watched. He felt honored. But it's only the beginning.
"For me, this just lights the fuse," Chief David Roddy said. "I'm excited about getting to work."
Roddy expects to continue the police department’s commitment to developing community partnerships, because "officers can’t keep the city safe working alone. We need your help. We must build trust in order to maintain public safety and effective policing."
Roddy said he knows some residents have had negative experiences with the police, and he knows the Chattanooga Police Department needs to work to change that and build trust.
City Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod agreed.
"Particularly for the African-American community," she said, "we have those issues. We don't fully trust the police department. And nationwide, it's been that way. But we as a people have to just start chopping those barriers down and start working together, because we need each other. The community needs the police. The police need the community."
Roddy also said "all members of our community deserve equal treatment regardless of the color of their skin, the language they speak, or who they choose to love."
Roddy replaces former Chief Fred Fletcher, who retired earlier this year.