Mayor Tim Kelly, Police Chief Celeste Murphy, and employee representative groups have collaboratively reached a resolution to review the assignments of all Chattanooga Police Department officers who have previously sustained allegations of being less than truthful.
As part of the review process, each affected officer’s assignment will be evaluated by an internal committee made up of sworn officers of diverse ranks and roles. The evaluation criteria are currently being finalized in partnership with employee groups, but they are expected to include factors such as age of the violation, severity of the violation, disciplinary record since the violation, and the circumstances of the violation as determined by internal affairs.
Once their evaluation is complete, the review committee will issue a recommendation to Chief Murphy with one of three possible outcomes for the affected officer: Permanent reassignment to a non-enforcement role; Restoration of responsibilities with special accommodations (for example, requiring the officer to wear a body camera at additional times or to team with an additional officer during patrol); or Restoration of full responsibilities without special accommodations.
Review committee members are still being finalized. The final decision on the outcome for the affected officer will rest with Chief Murphy.
This process will apply to all sworn officers who have had a sustained internal policy violation of being less than truthful prior to Aug. 16, 2022–a total of 15 officers, based on CPD’s final database audit of personnel records.
All affected officers previously faced discipline for the internal policy violations at the time those allegations were sustained. As of Aug. 17, 2022, any untruthfulness violation that is sustained will result in immediate termination.
“I fully support Chief Murphy’s decision to ensure the Chattanooga Police Department leads with integrity. I chose her for our Police Chief because she committed to me from the earliest part in the hiring process that she was going to set a high bar for professional standards in our department,” said Mayor Kelly.
“I also believe that we can make tough decisions that protect public safety and include trusted employee groups. I’m grateful that we were able to work together to create a productive path forward for the department and the officers involved.”
“This is not a decision I made lightly, and I know these changes have been extremely impactful to our department, which is why collaborating to find meaningful resolutions is so important,” said Chief Murphy. “I’m dedicated to upholding the department’s integrity in the eyes of the public, the eyes of our courts, and in the eyes of the brave men and women who selflessly serve their community.”