Veteran Detective and Interim Chief John Drake has been selected as Metro Nashville Police Department’s new chief, Mayor John Cooper announced Monday at a press conference.
Cooper posted a video of the press conference, available here.
Drake, 56, is a Nashville native who began his MNPD career in 1988 and has served in a number of jobs throughout the department, the city said in a press release here.
Drake began his service in the Patrol Division, before being assigned to the Vice Division’s Narcotics Unit, according to his official biography. Since he has a passion for youths, he transferred to the Police Athletic League, where he started a basketball program for children. That program grew to more than 1,300 participants in less than five years.
“I will lead with my heart by being open and accessible to the community while connecting with people,” Drake said. “At the same time, I want our officers to know that I care deeply about them, and will work to build more wellness programs and other services to help officers flourish in their careers.”
The Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police, the local chapter, tweeted, “Congratulations to the newly appointed @MNPDNashville Chief of Police John Drake!”
— Andrew Jackson Lodge #5 FOP (@LODGE5FOP) November 30, 2020
Drake spoke of new initiatives that have been implemented since he was named interim chief in August to combat violent crime and create stronger partnerships at the neighborhood level.
“I believe in change, in fact, I embrace change, which will be grounded in collaboration and community-based strategies,” Drake said.
Drake said his priorities include increasing the department’s diversity through a revamped Recruitment Unit, reducing violent crime and engaging communities to help officers improve quality of life. He also will use plainclothes officers in a crisis intervention team to meet mental health needs; they will work with mental health experts to “better serve our vulnerable communities.”
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