NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam today announced he has named Knoxville Police Chief David B. Rausch as the new director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The two other finalists were former Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble, who formerly worked for the U.S. Secret Service, and acting TBI Director Jason Locke.
Rausch will fill the unexpired term of former director Mark Gwyn who left earlier this year.
"David brings a wealth of experience to the TBI and the proven leadership to continue the great progress the agency has made in making Tennessee safer," Haslam said in a news release on his section of Rausch.
Haslam said that as Knoxville's police chief, Rausch, 55, "took on both urban and rural public safety issues and collaborated with local, state and federal partners to help address some of the region's most pressing crimes, such as gang activity and human trafficking."
Saying he was "honored and humbled" by the appointment, Rausch called the TBI "an excellent organization with amazing employees dedicated to serving the great state of Tennessee.
I look forward to working alongside them to lead the agency into the next chapter and am excited to bring my vision and energy to serve in this capacity," Rausch added.
While Haslam is a former Knoxville mayor, he has previously said his mayoral successor was the one to name Rausch in 2011 as the city's top law enforcement official.
Rausch oversaw an agency of more than 500 employees, including some 400 sworn police officers. He joined the department in 1993 and rose through the ranks, getting elevated to deputy chief and a member of the special operations squad.
The governors office said that throughout Rausch's quarter century with the department he focused on community policing and building relationships with local, state and federal agencies.
He has held various leadership roles in professional law enforcement organizations, including the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
In 2017, Rausch was named Chief of the Year by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and several federal law enforcement programs.
Long time director Gwyn left this spring following a critical state Comptroller audit that among other things raised questions about the agency's use of reserves for ongoing expenses.