Rick Scarbrough is leaving the Clinton Police Department after 16 years as chief. Scarbrough has accepted a position as executive director of the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center.
On Tuesday, the City of Clinton said it announced the departure with mixed emotions.
“When I say mixed emotions, I’m excited for the opportunity my friend has, but as city manager, I obviously hate to lose him as our police chief,” Clinton City Manager Roger Houck said in a press release.
Houck said he and Scarbrough have discussed the possibility the chief could be leaving, and they both think Assistant Chief Vaughn Becker is ready for the opportunity.
“We have had a succession plan in place for some time,” Houck said. Becker will become the interim Clinton police chief effective August 1.
The Law Enforcement Innovation Center is located in Oak Ridge. It is an agency of the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service. Formed in 1997, LEIC is a leading training and technical assistance provider for the law enforcement community across the nation. Since 2001, more than 30,000 law enforcement officers, other criminal justice practitioners, public safety workers, public school personnel, and community members have completed the center’s training and educational programs.
The press release said Scarbrough has 29 years of law enforcement experience. Six of those were with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and 23 years were with Clinton. Scarbrough has served as Clinton’s police chief for the last 16 years.
A 1999 graduate of the FBI National Academy, Scarbrough also has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organizational management from Tusculum College. He completed the Senior Leadership Seminar by the College of Policing in Manchester, England, the press release said. He is currently the first vice president of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, as well as their Finance Review Committee.
Under Scarbrough’s leadership, the Clinton Police Department won the 2005 Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) Statewide Award for Top Alcohol Prevention Program, 2008 GHSO Overall Traffic Safety for agency less than 25 officers, 2010 GHSO Second Place Overall Traffic Safety for agency less than 25 officers, 2014 University of Tennessee MTAS Excellence in Police Services Award for Clinton Police Department, and 2014 TACP Police Chief of the Year. In 2017, the Clinton Police Department received its first-ever state accreditation, the press release said.
“Our success is a tribute to the professionalism and ability of our officers,” Scarbrough said in the press release. “We have been fortunate to retain quality individuals and that has led to the continuity we’ve enjoyed. Combine that with our great community and it makes my job much easier! It has been my honor to serve my hometown and contribute what I could to maintain the quality of life we enjoy here. I’d like to also add that I’ve enjoyed the support of some great councils in the past, and this council is no different. Roger Houck has been and is a class act as well. I’ve been fortunate!”
In addition to the police department, Scarbrough is responsible for the Building and Codes Department as well as E911 Communications, with a total staff of 45 and a budget of approximately $4 million.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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