published Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

David Bishop sworn in as police chief of Cleveland, Tenn.

Cleveland, Tenn., Police Chief David Bishop takes the oath of office Monday, administered by Mayor Tom Rowland, right, and accompanied by his wife, Karen.
Cleveland, Tenn., Police Chief David Bishop takes the oath of office Monday, administered by Mayor Tom Rowland, right, and accompanied by his wife, Karen.
Photo by Paul Leach.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — David Bishop was sworn in Monday afternoon as Cleveland's new chief of police, replacing the retired Wes Snyder.

"The city manager had the utmost confidence in you in making that appointment, and you have the confidence of the City Council and myself," Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland told Bishop in a room packed with police officers, family and other supporters of the new chief. "We look forward to working with you in making Cleveland a better and safer place to live."

Bishop thanked city leaders for their support and expressed gratitude toward the officers and staff of the department. The swearing-in came during a City Council meeting.

"This is about them," said Bishop, who has served with the Cleveland Police Department for 30 years.

Bishop has received a number of awards while in the department and was promoted to captain of operations in 2008. Before working with the Cleveland Police Department, he worked in law enforcement in Albany, Ga., and Knoxville.

He was appointed interim chief in early December when Snyder abruptly announced his retirement and went on leave shortly after security video surfaced that showed the former police chief rendezvousing with MainStreet Executive Director Sharon Marr on multiple occasions at a storage facility on Old Tasso Road. Snyder officially retired Jan. 5.

A number of city councilmen voiced support for Bishop during the meeting.

"He is a fine chief we can support," said City Councilman Dale Hughes. "Hats off to him as he starts his role."

Councilman Richard Banks welcomed Bishop to his new post and encouraged him to continue progressive efforts of modernization and certification that he said were championed by his predecessor.

After the meeting, Vice Mayor Avery Johnson said Bishop was a good choice made by City Manager Janice Casteel, who announced his appointment Friday.

"We did the right thing by promoting him," said Johnson, citing Bishop's long service to the department. "He knows and understands the goals, direction and needs of the city."

However, one member of the Cleveland City Council has expressed concern over Bishop's appointment.

"I don't know if he is the right one to hold [the police department] together," Councilman George Poe said Friday. "I stopped getting phone calls when Snyder took over 10 years ago."

Poe said he was not familiar with Bishop, as he was with Snyder and his father, who also served as Cleveland's chief of police.

"If was left up to me, I'd hire him in a heartbeat," said Poe when Snyder made a failed attempt to rescind his decision to retire two days before it became effective.

In related business, the City Council voted to retire Snyder's service weapon.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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