CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Cleveland has received 36 applications in response to its search for a new police chief.

"We hope to narrow the applicants down to three to five candidates by Friday," said City Manager Janice Casteel on Wednesday.

An interview panel consisting of Casteel, law enforcement consultant Larry Wallace, Lee University President Paul Conn and Robert Bradney, board chairman of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, will review the applications, with the assistance of Jeff Davis, the city's human resources director, she said.

While most of the applicants reside in Tennessee, a quarter of the applicants originate from Missouri, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Maryland. One applicant works with the United Nations in Somalia.

Four of the applicants have experience with the Cleveland Police Department, the Bradley County Sheriff's Office or both agencies, while another six applicants hold law enforcement positions in various departments within the Chattanooga area.

In his application letter, Capt. Mark Gibson, an 18-year Cleveland Police Department veteran who has been serving as interim chief since March, said he has "led the department during some of the most difficult times in its history."

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Cleveland City Manager Janice Casteel

Gibson was placed in charge of the department after Dennis Maddux, who only served as chief for one day, was demoted in March following a highly publicized sex scandal involving another officer's wife. Maddux resigned from the department in May in the wake of an internal investigation of the matter.


Gibson also served as acting chief for several months in 2014 while then-Chief David Bishop was on medical leave.

Other Bradley County applicants include Jon K. Collins, a Cleveland police officer who served with the sheriff's office for 22 years; Bill T. Dyer, the director of safety and security for Jones Management who served with the sheriff's office for nearly 30 years; and Robert Renagar, a 26-year veteran of the city police department who retired in 2004.

Chattanooga law enforcement applicants include East Ridge Police Chief J.R. Reed, Red Bank Police Chief Timothy Christol, Chattanooga Housing Authority Police Chief Felix Vess, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Police Chief Craig Hamilton, Chattanooga State Community College Police Chief Stephanie D. Hill and Chattanooga Police Capt. Nathan A. Vaughn, who is commander of organized and violent crimes investigations.

Experience and application of the concept of community policing was cited as a common strength by a number of applicants, including those from Chattanooga.

In her application letter, Hill stated that college campus policing is "the best definition" of community policing, citing the "culturally and socio-economically diverse" school population.

"I firmly believe in creating positive encounters between police officers and the community with the goal of building meaningful and trusting relationships," said Vaughn in his submission.

In a recent meeting with the Cleveland City Council, Wallace said he expects the new police chief will be in place by Oct. 1.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at

The applicants

Ronald J. Oliver

Upper Marlboro, Md.

Various commander positions for Office of the Sheriff, Prince George’s County, 1990 - 2013

Bryan Graves

Madisonville, Tenn.

Chief Deputy for Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, 2006 - 2014

Robert M. Baer

Gladstone, Mo.

Current Deputy Chief for Gladstone Department of Public Safety, Mo.

Served as division commander from 2007 - 2015

Craig B. Moates

Eagleville, Tenn.

Current Chief of Police, McKenzie Police Department

Served as police chief for Kotzebue Police Department, Alaska from 2010 to 2012

D. Dennis Brown

Thomasville, N.C.

Current management and training consultant with Arrive Management Group

Served as police chief for Newberry, S.C., Windsor, Vt., and Wilton, Maine

Barry Brewer

Florence, Ala.

Current area sales manager for Bluegrass Uniforms and Equipment Co.

Retired as captain from Florence Police Department, serving from 1988 to 2008

Stephen L. Abbington

St. Charles, Mo.

Served in various St. Louis-area law enforcement positions between 1994 and 2011; served as police chief for Wellston, Mo. between 2001 and 2006.

Jeffrey Cassidy

Mt. Carmel, Tenn.

Criminal justice instructor for Johnson City Schools

Served with Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office from 1997 to 2013, attaining rank of captain in 2007.

Larry Lindsey

Arlington, Tenn.

Current captain/civil field and levy commander for Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Has served with department since 1991.

James Reed

East Ridge, Tenn.

Chief of East Ridge Police Department

Has served with the department since 1988

Chris W. Mathes

Johnson City, Tenn.

Director of Public Safety and Security for Universal Protection Services

Served as sheriff for Carter County from 2006 to 2014

Frank J. Tennant

Millington, Tenn.

Chief of Millington Police Department

Served as police chief or Hermann, Mo. from 2004 to 2014

Michael D. Bledsoe

Vonore, Tenn.

Administrative Captain of Monroe County Sheriff’s Office

Served as police chief for Vonore, Tenn. from 2003 to 2007

Stephanie D. Hill

Newport, Tenn.

Chattanooga State Community College Police Chief

Has served 19 years in law enforcement and private security

Mark Gibson

Cleveland, Tenn.

Interim Chief for Cleveland Police Department

Has served with department since 1997

Jon K. Collins

Cleveland, Tenn.

Patrol officers for Cleveland Police Department

Served with Bradley County Sheriff’s Office from 1992 to 2014, attaining rank of major in 2011.

Jessie Brooks

Kingston, Tenn.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Captain

Has served with THP since 1981, attaining rank of captain in 2013

James C. Paris

Ellendale, Tenn.

Served as chief of Mason Police Department from 2007 to 2015

Served as Shelby County Sheriff’s Office detective from 1993 to 2004

Michael McCullough

Rockwood, Tenn.

Criminal investigator for Roane State Police Department

Served 20 years with Rockwood Police Department

Robert C. Renegar

McDonald, Tenn.

Retired from Cleveland Police Department in 2004

Served department for 26 years

Part-time instructor for Cleveland State Police Academy from 2004 to 2011

Kevin Curreri


United Nations Child Protection Specialist/Senior Justice Sector Reform

Served with police service in Queensland, Australia, from 2001 to 2012

Anthony W. Heavner

Jackson, Tenn.

Captain with Madison County Sheriff’s Office

Has served with department since 1989

Bill T. Dyer

Cleveland, Tenn.

Director of Safety and Security for Jones Management - Check Into Cash - U.S. Money Shops

Served with Bradley County Sheriff’s Office from 1985 to 2014; held rank of chief deputy between 2006 and 2010

Raymond W. Sides

Arlington, Tenn.

Commanding sergeant for homicide division of Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

Has served department for 25 years

Justin D. Powers

Selmer, Tenn.

President/owner of JDPowers Investigative Services

Chief of Grand Junction Police Department from 2010 to 2013

James W. Shavers

Lubbock, Texas

Assistant Chief of Lubbock Police Department

Has served the department for 27 years

Clifford E. “Max” Meyer

Brooklet, Ga.

Chief of Brooklet Police Department

Has served in law enforcement since 1979

Felix M. Vess

Athens, Tenn.

Chattanooga Housing Authority Police Chief

Has served with department since 2002

Craig S. Hamilton

Cleveland, Tenn.

University of Tennessee of Chattanooga Police Chief

Served with Bradley County Sheriff’s Office from 1990 to 2005

Arthur S. King

Winter Park, Fla.

Former deputy chief of Winter Park Police Department

Served with department from 1982 to 2015

Dwayne Hayes

White Bluff, Tenn.

White Bluff Police Department Officer

Served with Dickson County Sheriff’s Office from 1990 to 2014

Timothy A. Christol

Hixson, Tenn.

Red Bank Police Chief

Served with Knox County Sheriff’s Office from 1979 to 2009

Wayne H. Jackson

Ooltewah, Tenn.

Vice President of security and investigations for ERMC

Served with the Federal Bureau of Investigations from 1983 to 2010

Douglas C. Reese

Royal Palm Beach, Fla.

Captain with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Has served the department since 1984

Thomas R. Parker

Franklin, Tenn.

Captain with Williamson County Sheriff’s Office

Has served the department since 1978

Nathan A. Vaughn


Captain with Chattanooga Police Department

Has served the department since 1990