Kevin West, longtime Chattanooga broadcaster, named police public affairs director

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Retired U.S. Navy Capt. and guest speaker Kevin West addresses the crowd during the Memorial Day program at the Chattanooga National Cemetery on May 30, 2022. West, a longtime radio broadcaster in Chattanooga, has been named the director of public affairs for the Chattanooga Police Department.

Kevin West, a longtime Chattanooga radio broadcaster, is set to join the Chattanooga Police Department as its new director of public affairs, the department said in a news release Friday.

West is slated to start Tuesday after announcing his retirement from broadcasting in June. He was appointed to the position by Chief Celeste Murphy, according to the release.

(READ MORE: Longtime Chattanooga broadcaster Kevin West retiring as WGOW program director)

"Communication is absolutely vital to law enforcement efforts in the 21st century — communication with the public through traditional media, social media and community engagements," Murphy said in the release. "And just as important is communication with our sworn officers and professional staff in the department. We are one Chattanooga, and I am thrilled to have someone with Kevin's experience leading our Police Department communications team."

As director of public affairs, West will oversee the department's social media and communications with the press and public.

Right now, the department has one sworn assistant chief and one civilian social media coordinator handling public affairs.

West worked in radio for 43 years, most recently as the program director at WGOW, where he led its talk AM and FM stations.

He is also a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and retired as a captain in 2021, according to the release.

In 2016 and 2017, he served as a public affairs deputy at Resolute Support Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.

"I couldn't be more proud to be a part of the Chattanooga Police Department team," West said in Friday's release. "I wasn't born here; I chose to be here. Chattanooga is my home, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to serve the city in this capacity."

— Compiled by Ellen Gerst