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John Drake named Chief of Police for Metro Nashville

john drake
Posted at 10:53 AM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 21:46:49-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — John Drake has been selected as the next chief of police for the Metro Nashville Police Department.

Mayor John Cooper officially announced his selection for the position on Monday afternoon after a nearly four-month-long search process.

"Nashville wants a chief who can make changes, build trust, and increase safety for all our residents,” Mayor Cooper said. “I believe we have found the relationship builder we need in John Drake. During his time on the force and as interim chief, he has reached out to neighborhoods and communities across Nashville. He has shown he is committed to collaboration, transparency, and the dignity of every resident."

Watch the full announcement below:

The Nashville Fraternal Order of Police said members were pleased to learn Drake was chosen for the position.

"Chief Drake’s decades of service to Nashville provides the crucial knowledge needed to effectively lead this police department into the future. We look forward to working with him as we strive to provide a safe and peaceful Nashville for all," a statement from the Nashville FOP said.

The search for a new chief of police began this summer when former Chief Steve Anderson announced his retirement. In August, Drake, who has been serving as deputy chief, stepped in as interim police chief after Anderson retired.

In September, candidates met with a review committee that narrowed down the list to five finalists for the position. The following month the five finalists came to Nashville and met with Mayor Cooper and an interview panel.

The finalists included:

  • Interim Police Chief John Drake
  • Troy Gay, chief of staff for the Austin, Texas Police Department
  • Darryl McSwain, chief of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police
  • Larry Scirotto, former assistant chief of professional standards for the Pittsburgh Police Department
  • Kristen Zinman, chief of the Aurora, Illinois Police Department

Drake joined MNPD in 1988 as a patrol officer in the West Precinct. The Nashville native has been assigned to various roles within MNPD throughout his 32 years with the department including deputy chief for community supervision and commander of the Central Precinct.

Drake earned his bachelor’s degree in public service from Bethel University, graduating Summa Cum Laude and graduated from East High School, now known as Stratford STEM Magnet School, in 1983.

He will be sworn in by Mayor Cooper during a ceremony later this year.