John Drake named Nashville’s new police chief

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — John Drake is the new chief of the Metro Nashville Police Department, beating out more than fifty other candidates vying for the position.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper made the annoucement at a news conference Monday afternoon.

The Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement saying they were “pleased to learn of Mayor Cooper’s selection of John Drake as the new Chief of Police for the Metropolitan Nashville Police
Department.”

The Members of the Fraternal Order of Police were pleased to learn of Mayor Cooper’s
selection of John Drake as the new Chief of Police for the Metropolitan Nashville Police
Department. Chief Drake’s decades of service to Nashville provides the crucial knowledge
needed to effectively lead this police department into the future. We look forward to working
with him as we strive to provide a safe and peaceful Nashville for all.

The nationwide search for Nashville’s police chief began immediately after the retirement of Chief Steve Anderson was announced in mid-June at the city’s coronavirus news briefing. At the time, the ACLU of Tennessee had urged Anderson’s resignation and more than a dozen Metro Council members had filed a resolution calling for him to resign.

Drake, a 32-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department was later named interim chief, starting the role in early August. He applied for the permanent position and was named one of five finalists, ultimately securing the job as chief.

The Nashville native was previously assigned to the Patrol Division, the Vice Narcotics Division, the Police Athletic League and the Office of Professional Accountability. He was promoted to the department’s Community Services Bureau, which includes more than 900 officers and detectives who are assigned to the department’s eight precincts across Nashville.

Promoted to the rank of Captain in 2014, Drake worked as an overnight Field Captain, until being assigned as Captain of the Domestic Violence Division where he helped develop the Lethality Assessment Protocol and a new domestic violence supplement that has garnered great reviews around the country.

Drake graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bethel University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Service. In 2011, he also completed courses in The Southeastern Command and Leadership Academy hosted by the University of Tennessee.

While serving as interim police chief, Drake told News 2 in August that his first priority as the permanent chief would be to work with Mayor Cooper to mitigate the pandemic’s effects in Nashville. He said he also planned to tackle diversity within the city’s police department and improve the relationship between the department and community members.

The Metro Community Oversight Board issued a statement Monday evening, saying they looked forward to working with Chief Drake.

“Chief Drake has publicly acknowledged the importance of cooperation between the Board and the MNPD, emphasizing the duty we have as public servants to carry out the will of our community,” COB Chair Andrés Martínez said. “The Board is committed to building upon the already improved relations with MNPD since Chief Drake began serving in the interim, and will continue striving for increased accountability, transparency, and trust.”

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