Alcoa Police Department chief to retire

Chief Philip Potter took over the department's top spot less than three years ago.

ALCOA - Alcoa Police Chief Philip Potter has told city officials and colleagues he is retiring.  In his retirement announcement, Potter mentions the achievement of goals and "the current national anti-police climate."

Potter took over the top spot in the Alcoa Police Department less than three years ago in December 2013.  

Potter sent an email titled "Retirement Notice" to APD employees and Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson on Friday, September 9, 2016.  In the email, Potter indicated his decision to retire is based on achieving the goals that were set when he was hired.  

He goes on to write, "With the current national anti-police climate and the constant 24/7 calls and responsibilities for over 25 years of being the Police Chief, I would like to take a break and step aside."

REPORTER'S NOTE:  You can read Potter's full email at the bottom of this article.

"He [Potter] indicated his intention to retire, but there is no set date for when that will be," said Johnson.  "He'll stay on board through the transition to a new chief.  I don't have any fixed plans yet for how to proceed on that.  We have the option of looking internally for his replacement and there are several different things we can do.  I will probably continue discussions with the chief over the next day, get his recommendations and evaluations, and set a course on which way we want to go."
Johnson said Potter will be paid for any vacation and sick leave he accrued during his employment in Alcoa.
"He [Potter] was actually retired when he came here.  He worked for a long time in Ohio where he worked his way up to chief, then he was the chief in Huntersville, North Carolina, when he retired.  He helped us as an assessor for our CLEE (Continuing Law Enforcement Education) accreditation when our chief was sick.  Then when Chief [Ken] Burge died, he submitted his name to come out of retirement and we brought him on board."
Previous Police Chief Ken Burge died in July 2013 after a prolonged illness.  Burge was hired as Alcoa's chief in 2004 and had worked in law enforcement for 39 years at the time of his death.
Below is Potter's entire email announcing his intention to step down as Alcoa police chief.
From: Philip Potter
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2016 4:00 PM
Subject: Retirement Notice

To All Alcoa Police Officers and Employees;

The purpose of this email is to let you all know that I have submitted my letter to the City Manager to retire and step down as the Chief of Police of the Alcoa Police Department.

Over the last few months I have given much thought and deliberation regarding my career goals, my family and my position as the Chief of Police of the Alcoa Police Department. This is my 43rd consecutive year as a sworn law enforcement officer and almost 25 years as a Chief of Police in three agencies. In reviewing the agreed upon goals that I discussed with the City Manager upon my acceptance of this position in 2013, I believe that most, if not all of those goals have been achieved, including the development of internal leaders within the Alcoa Police Department who are ready to take the next step. With the current national anti-police climate and the constant 24/7 calls and responsibilities for over 25 years of being the Police Chief, I would like to take a break and step aside. This will allow me to spend more time with my wife, as well as my son who now works as a police officer in Charlotte NC. This will also provide me an opportunity to assess the next phase of my life and/or career. I have indicated my desire to continue to work for the next several weeks with the Police Captains and the City Manager to ensure a smooth transition for the Alcoa Police Department.

I have enjoyed my three years as the Chief of Police of the Alcoa Police Department and I am very appreciative of the opportunity afforded to me by the City Manager and the City of Alcoa to lead the Department through these past few years. As I prepare to leave the Department, I take great pride in the accomplishments made by the Alcoa Police Department and its members in many areas during these three years. I will miss the professional and personal friendships I have established here at the Alcoa Police Department, the City of Alcoa, Blount County and East Tennessee. I wish the City of Alcoa and the Alcoa Police Department and its members much success in the future. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the public safety needs of this community.


Philip K. Potter CLEE
Chief of Police, Alcoa Police Department

(© 2016 WBIR)


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