Robin Smith, who had been deputy chief, has been promoted to police chief, Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said Tuesday.
“The Oak Ridge Police Department is an effective team built with good people who care about our community,” Smith said. “We want Oak Ridge to be a safe place for people to live, work and visit. I’m proud to be a member of the team.”
Smith accepted the position on Monday.
Smith has been with the department since 2012, a press release said. He served as a lieutenant for two years before being promoted to captain in 2014 and then deputy chief in 2015. Prior to his work with Oak Ridge Police, Smith was commander of police operations for the Tennessee Valley Authority for 15 years. He began his law enforcement career with the Sevierville Police Department in 1979, serving first as a dispatcher, then police officer, corporal, and sergeant.
“Chief Smith is a third generation law enforcement officer and his loyalty and integrity to the field is recognized throughout Tennessee,” Watson said in the press release. “His dedication to the City of Oak Ridge and the citizens came out repeatedly during a series of interviews with local clergy, Oak Ridge police officers, and city department directors. I believe the community will benefit from Chief Smith’s desire to coach our officers to an even higher level of professionalism. I want to congratulate Robin Smith and welcome him to the professional management team of this city.”
During the job candidate review process, Smith participated in a writing exercise on innovation and leadership in the modern police department, an interview with Oak Ridge Ministerial Association clergy on community relationships, an interview with divisional police representatives and discussions on day-to-day operations within the organization, an interview with department directors on opportunities to work together and identify the strategies of ORPD under his leadership, and an interview with the city manager on style, goals and budgeting, the press release said. During the last two months, the city manager and City Council have had an opportunity to meet with and observe the activities of the acting chief and are pleased to see him appointed as the new chief of police, the release said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.