Larry Wallace named police consultant

Former TBI director to assist with department review

JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Posted 3/10/15

The Cleveland Police Department will be getting a thorough review by a police consultant, the city manager and a city councilman.

The Cleveland City Council unanimously approved having the city …

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Larry Wallace named police consultant

Former TBI director to assist with department review

Posted

The Cleveland Police Department will be getting a thorough review by a police consultant, the city manager and a city councilman.

The Cleveland City Council unanimously approved having the city manager hire Larry Wallace as a police consultant during a voting session Monday. Councilmen Bill Estes and Richard Banks were absent.

“He (Wallace) has helped cities before and I think he will do a good job for us,” said City Manager Janice Casteel.

Wallace served as a consultant for Chattanooga in a police chief search.

This will not be his role for Cleveland. Instead, he will be offering a review of “policies, procedures and practices.”

Casteel, along with Wallace and City Councilman Dale Hughes, will be reviewing all three to see if they agree or need to be changed. The review will also look into whether current policies are being followed.

Hughes volunteered to serve on the committee after Casteel asked for a Council member to volunteer. Hughes said he is glad to work with someone with the professional experience and good reputation Wallace has, and added he feels the committee is taking a step in the right direction.

“The purpose of this volunteer would be to review any policy changes, so that they can assist us in that review before we bring it to the Council ... the full Council would approve any changes,” Casteel said.

Casteel did not give a timeline on when the review would be complete. She said she wanted the process to take as long as it needed for a full review.

Casteel said she chose Wallace because of his experience in law enforcement. Wallace served for 40 years in law enforcement, including the Athens Police Department, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Tennessee Highway Patrol. He has served as the sheriff of McMinn County and the deputy director of the Tennessee Department of Safety. He is the assistant to the president for special projects for Tennessee Wesleyan College. Wallace will leave the position at the end of the month to serve as the Cleveland police consultant.

“He comes very well qualified,” Casteel said.

“Absolutely,” Hughes said.

A contract will be presented to the Council at a later date

“He actually would not be an employee, but would be contracted,” Casteel said.

Hughes asked how much the consultant would cost.

“He would be in the $76,000 range as an annual salary, so depending on how many months he serves (would be how much he makes),” Casteel said. “There is no timeline. He won’t know until he gets in there and he starts working with the policies, the procedures and the practices (how long it will take).”

Interim Police Chief Mark Gibson will continue to serve in that role throughout the policy review process. A new chief would not be selected until this process is complete.

“I would like to go through this process first, figure out exactly what do we need to change,” Casteel said.

“So you don’t want to post this job right now?” Councilman Avery Johnson asked.

“No, sir, I don’t,” Casteel replied.

Hughes said when the time does come to look for a new chief, the candidate needs to be thoroughly researched, so there are no surprises later.

“It is truly embarrassing to have three chiefs in four days,” Hughes said. “There needs to be something to fix it.”

Dennis Maddux served as chief for one day before being demoted back to captain. Casteel served administratively as chief until a requirement for Peace Officer Standards and Training was brought to her attention. Gibson was then appointed interim chief.

This is not the first time a policy review has been announced.

A previous drug policy review requested by the Cleveland City Council was completed. However, the proposed changes to the citywide policy were never approved. Amendments to the Cleveland Police Department drug policy were approved by the Council to allow for consideration of mitigating factors, such as years of service in the department, as to whether an officer who violated the policy was laid off.

Also during the meeting former Police Chief David Bishop’s service weapon was declared surplus to be given to him in recognition of his years of service. Bishop served as police chief for a little less than a year, before leaving due to medical reasons. Gibson was acting police chief until Maddux was appointed chief. Although Gibson was acting chief in the final months of 2014, Bishop’s medical retirement became official Feb. 28. Maddux then officially became the new chief.

Vice Mayor George Poe acted as chairman during the meeting due to the mayor’s absence. Mayor Tom Rowland is recovering from knee surgery.

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