Chattanooga mayor names new police chief, Celeste Murphy

Deputy chief from Atlanta would be first woman to run the department, if confirmed

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly (left) shakes the hand of Chattanooga's new police chief, Celeste Murphy(right), at a press conference Tuesday announcing her new role. The deputy chief for the Atlanta Police Department will be the first woman, and the first Black woman, to head the department.

Mayor Tim Kelly has picked Celeste Murphy as Chattanooga's next police chief, which would make her the first woman - and first Black woman - to helm the department.

Murphy has been serving as deputy chief for the Atlanta Police Department. She was one of four finalists, and her appointment requires approval by the Chattanooga City Council. At a Tuesday news conference, she spoke of what it meant to make history in Chattanooga, receiving resounding applause and cheers from community members.

"Diversity is how you're able to solve problems, because you have different perspectives, and that's one of the things I said I wanted to bring to Chattanooga - a different perspective," Murphy said. "It's not always about something being totally wrong, or not working or it's disastrous, it's just about sometimes a fresh start, a new perspective, a new direction."