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A long-time Knoxville Police officer is celebrating a historic achievement.

Chief David Rausch has promoted Captain Nate Allen to Deputy Chief over the Criminal Investigation Division. He is the first black man to hold that position with the Knoxville Police Department.

Chief Allen has worked for the department for 28 years.

In his new role, he plans to help with recruiting minorities to the department.

"That's always been a very difficult field. For the past 28 years we've bee recruiting trying to get minorities into the police department, especially up the ranks. It's one thing to get minorities within the police department, especially African-Americans, but getting them in the supervision positions is a challenge," said Deputy Chief Allen.

"It's a wonderful opportunity and I think it also shows that our community is progressive and it is open and willing to recognize the strengths of individuals regardless of their race, religion, creed.. Regardless of that," said Chief Rausch.

Deputy Chief Allen will be officially sworn in during a ceremony on Thursday, at 4 pm at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum Ballroom.

Also on Wednesday, the Knoxville Police Department honored several officers and a civilian employee for their efforts on and off the job. The list of achievements includes drug arrests, saving a choking woman, and data analysis that helps reduce crime.

The Safety Education Unit also received special recognition for its anti-bullying campaign. In April, KPD teamed up with WBIR and Knox County Schools to host a town hall meeting on bullying as part of that initiative. Visit our Stop Bullying page for more.

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