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Chiefs Rausch and Thomas talk challenges in new roles

Rausch starts as director of the TBI on Monday. Deputy Chief Eve Thomas will take the reins as the first female chief of the Knoxville Police Department.

When Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch starts his new job on Monday, there's one big change he's worried about: his wardrobe.

"It was pretty easy to go into my closet and grab a blue pair of pants and a blue shirt you know because that’s all I had to wear. Now I'm going to have to figure out this whole tie thing."

When Rausch takes the reins of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, he said he knows there will be challenges.

"For about 100 days, I'm going to be drinking from a fire hose. Just learning the ins and outs."

His successor, Deputy Chief Eve Thomas said she's expecting a learning curve as well.

"Getting to know everybody. The political leaders, the faith community. He has such a strong hold in all those communities. I want to make sure I get involved and I continue that relationship," she said.

But she said she's excited for the new role.

"This is my calling. It’s what I want to do. It’s just been a tremendous experience."

Leaving Knoxville is bittersweet for Rausch. He's been with the department for 25 years.

"We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, we’ve bled together, we’ve danced together,"

he said.

One decision not waiting for him at TBI

headquarters: what to do with the bureau's assistant director, who stepped down amid a state investigation into

an alleged extramarital affair.

"His decision and why he made it is all very, very smart," Rausch said. "He needs to protect his family."

As he looks back, Rausch acknowledges there were some trying times he faced at KPD.

"We've had some tragedies that were tough for our community, but we've gotten through them."

Moving forward, Chief Thomas said she wants to grow the relationships Rausch built with the community and continue his focus on the drug epidemic.

"You have your own spin on things. But being to watch how he has been able to interact and watch that and forge those relationships I think has been a big help to me."

"I want to see our department succeed, I want to see our relationships succeed, I want to see our city succeed. And I just want to see everyone happy healthy and safe," she said.