- Associated Press - Friday, April 7, 2017

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher plans to resign this summer at the end of a three-year contract.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports (https://bit.ly/2oRCGWX ) that Fletcher announced at a news conference Friday that he plans to retire but will stay on the force until his contract ends July 6.

Fletcher addressed his retirement to the department through an internal email.

“Serving the brave and selfless men and women of the Chattanooga Police Department as you protect our community has been the absolute highlight of my professional career,” he wrote. “I have learned a great deal from you as individuals and from us as a Department. I have learned how to be a better cop, a better leader, and a better person. I will always be grateful for that.”

Fletcher previously was a commander for Austin, Texas, police. He was sworn in as Chattanooga’s police chief in June 2014.

Fletcher led the department in July 2015 when a man shot and killed four Marines and a sailor at two U.S. military sites.

He led rescue efforts in a June 2015 nine-vehicle highway crash in which a tractor-trailer killed six people.

Fred has stood with Chattanooga during some of our darkest days and I say from personal experience, his ability to lead our officers during a crisis situation knows no equal,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said in a news release.

He also was chief during a November school bus crash that killed six Woodmore Elementary school students.

A transition plan for picking the next chief of police will be developed over the coming weeks.

___

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, https://www.timesfreepress.com


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