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Ringgold's former police chief confirmed that he found a tracking device on his patrol car that was placed there without his knowledge. 

When former chief Dan Bilbrey found the device, he confronted city manager Dan Wright about it and Wright had told Bilbrey that he didn't know anything about it. Bilbrey said Wright later admitted he put it there, saying, "The people I answer to want to know what you do with your time," according to Bilbrey. 

Bilbrey said Wright reviewed the GPS data and ultimately decided Bilbrey was not abusing his time at work. 

When asked about the tracking device earlier this week, Wright said "The city of Ringgold does not discuss personnel matters."

Bilbrey confirmed what two former city of Ringgold employees say they heard and told the Times Free Press about the device. 

Ringgold Mayor Nick Millwood did not hear about the alleged tracking device until this week but fielded questions on his Facebook page about it, saying he "was not personally involved in a decision to place a tracking device on anyone's car."

"We have a duty now as Mayor and Council to get to the bottom of how this all went down," Millwood said in one comment. "I will certainly provide updates as we move through that process. There are still aspects of this we are working to understand, and I'd like a full understanding with all the facts before I comment much further."

At Monday's city council meeting, Bilbrey resigned in front of the majority of his department.

He gave an impassioned speech about how his department has constantly been overlooked, underfunded and understaffed during his tenure.

Bilbrey spoke about how he has felt handcuffed as a chief, how his officers have had to go years without proper equipment and using old vehicles, and how the turnover rate in the department is directly tied to the lack of support from city leaders.

He said funding has been a constant issue in his 10-year tenure as chief. The evidence room has not been finished and officers have had to use a room that does not have a ceiling, finished floors or climate control, meaning it's freezing in the winter and "scorching" in the summer, he said.

Bilbrey said he had been considering resigning for a long time but never thought he would do it in such a public way.

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

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