UT Launches ‘College’ for Police Chiefs, Sheriffs

CHATTANOOGA — College professors and criminologists from across the region will be teaching sheriffs, police chiefs and law enforcement leaders under a new University of Tennessee program launched here this week.

Congressman Zach Wamp delivered the keynote address Monday at the kick-off ceremony for the Tennessee Command and Leadership Academy.

Wamp and other speakers at the ceremony talked about emerging trends in crime fighting, future funding opportunities in the field, and the need for law enforcement to attract and embrace higher education, particularly in career development and recruting.

Other guest speakers included: Chattanooga Mayor Jon Kinsey; UT-Chattanooga Chancellor Bill Stacy; Mary Taylor, acting executive director of UT Institute for Public Service; and local law enforcement leaders.

Mike Hill, who helped develop the program for UT’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center, described the initiative as a “command college” for executives leading the nation’s fight against crime.

“This academy brings together executives from law enforcement agencies in several states and some of the region’s top criminal justice scholars for the most advanced available study in this field,” Hill said. “It goes beyond what is currently available in law enforcement management and executive development courses.

“The bottom line is that it will prepare law enforcement executives to lead the future of their profession.”

Hill said the course will be divided into eight one-week sessions which will be held over 14 months. The students include top law enforcement officials from Chattanooga, Soddy-Daisy, Cleveland, East Ridge, Signal Mountain, Brentwood, Dyersburg, Nashville, Knoxville, Gallatin, Alcoa, Gulfport, Miss., and Matthews, N.C.

The program offers 10 undergraduate credit hours or six graduate level credit hours through UTC, Hill said. Training will be held at the TVA Headquarters complex on Chestnut Street.

Areas of study include leadership and management, emerging trends in law enforcement, organizational skills, risk management and liability, planning and budgeting, and media relations.

Hill said the program’s faculty members are among the most renowned criminologists in the nation. They include: Dr. Richard Holden, director of the National Police Institute; Dr. Vic Kappeler, author and founding editor of Police Forum and Police Liability; Dr. Alan Sapp, head of criminal justice at Central Missouri State and director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research; and Dr. Vic Stretcher, professor emeritus of criminal justice at Sam Houston University and former director of the Law Enforcement Policy Study Center in Washington D.C.

The academy is a partnership between UT’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center, UTC Continuing Education Division and the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.