Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch appointed as TBI Director

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Governor Bill Haslam has appointed Knoxville's police chief, David Rausch, as the new director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Rausch, 55, has served as chief of the Knoxville Police Department since 2011. He was among 44 people who applied for the position.

During the director search, a panel narrowed down the search to ten candidates, then a nominating committee conducted interviews and sent three recommended names to Haslam.

“David brings a wealth of experience to the TBI and the proven leadership to continue the great progress the agency has made in making Tennessee safer. As police chief in Knoxville, he took on both urban and rural public safety issues and collaborated with local, state and federal partners to help address some of the region’s most pressing crimes, such as gang activity and human trafficking,” Haslam said.

Rausch has been with KPD since 1993. He served in the Patrol Division for most of his time and was also was the Commanding Officer for that division.

He was promoted through the ranks from Officer to Sergeant in 1998, Sergeant to Lieutenant in 2002, Lieutenant to Captain in 2006, Captain to Deputy Chief in 2009, and to Chief of Police in 2011.

Rausch is a U.S. Army veteran, serving in the Military Police Corps from 1986-1990.

“I am honored and humbled the governor has selected me for this position. The TBI is an excellent organization with amazing employees dedicated to serving the great state of Tennessee. I look forward to working alongside them to lead the agency into the next chapter and am excited to bring my vision and energy to serve in this capacity,” Rausch said.

A representative with the Governor's office said Rausch will become director effective June 25.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero congratulated Rausch on the new position.

“Chief Rausch has been an exemplary police chief and community leader in Knoxville. Congratulations to him on this well-deserved appointment! I am grateful for his decades of service to our city," Rogero said.

Rogero told WVLT News she will immediately start the process of selecting Rausch's successor.

She plans on meeting with each of the four deputy chiefs — Cindy Gass, Gary Holliday, Kenny Miller and Eve Thomas — to hear "their insights on the department, what the priorities of the next police chief should be, and whether they are interested in being considered for the position.” Rogero said she hopes to make a decision as soon as possible.

Rogero said she also plans to meet with representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police to get their insight and figure out what they can do to continually improve the police department.

Some of the current initiatives is community policing, where officers go to neighborhood meetings to learn the people in communities. Another includes the Save Our Sons initiative.

The announcement of Rausch's appointment comes as officials investigate acting director Jason Locke after his wife raised claims about a possible extramarital affair with another state official at taxpayer expense, News Channel 5's Phil Williams reports.