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Knoxville Police Chief announces retirement

Chief Eve Thomas said there was still much work to be done before she leaves.
Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 9:11 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2021 at 4:30 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -

KPD Chief Retirement

Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas announced her retirement, effective next spring, after serving Knoxville for nearly 30 years

Posted by WVLT on Friday, November 12, 2021

Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas announced her retirement Friday, effective May 1, 2022, after nearly 30 years of service to Knoxville.

“I want to thank Chief Thomas for her distinguished and dedicated service to the City of Knoxville,” Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “Chief Thomas made history as the City’s first female police chief and has implemented programs that will continue to benefit Knoxville for decades to come.”

Chief Thomas joined KPD in 1993 and served many different roles, such as Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, commander of the Patrol Division’s East District, commander of KPD’s Internal Affairs Unit, and Deputy Chief, before being named Chief in 2018.

“Chief Thomas implemented a wellness program that took a comprehensive and leading approach that is helping to de-stigmatize mental illness,” the Mayor said. “Being a police officer is a challenging job, especially these last few years. I appreciate the strides Chief Thomas has made in addressing the overall wellbeing of our officers.”

Under her leadership, KPD restructured recruitment efforts, deployed body-worn cameras and launched the co-responder program, officials said.

Chief Thomas said she was grateful for her long-lasting career in Knoxville.

“I truly don’t have the words to express how thankful I am for my time at the Knoxville Police Department has been the honor of a lifetime to call myself a KPD officer for the better part of the last three decades. There hasn’t been a single day that I didn’t cherish the opportunity to come to work and serve this great community alongside all of the men and women, both past and present, who have made this department a wonderful place to work. Despite the trials and tribulations, I loved my time as Chief of Police, which is a credit to the men and women of the KPD. I have been inspired by their passion and dedication, and know that they will continue to work with persistence to make Knoxville a better place for all who call it home.”

Knoxville Police Chief, Eve Thomas

Chief Thomas also said there was still much work to be done before she leaves and she was looking forward to finishing some projects started.

Knoxville will begin a search for a replacement immediately. Input from KPD officers and the public is welcomed, officials said.

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