Knoxville — Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch has applied to lead the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Current TBI director Mark Gwyn announced in February 2018 he would leave in June.
Rausch has been with KPD since January 1993 and chief since March 2011.
"Chief Rausch has a combined twenty-nine years of government service and law enforcement experience, having served four years in the United States Army and twenty-five years at the Knoxville Police Department," KPD Public Information Officer Darrell DeBusk said. "The TBI director’s position provides a unique opportunity in which Chief Rausch believes he can make a positive impact for law enforcement throughout the state."
A commission has been formed to narrow down the candidates to ten, who will then appear at a panel discussion on May 15. After that, the list will be narrowed down to three, and the governor will make the selection.
Rausch's profile has been rising in the state and nation. He's become a go-to spokesman in the fight against opioid abuse, and he's made several trips to the Obama and Trump White House in recent years.
The opioid crisis is personal for Rausch. He has a young granddaughter who was born drug-dependent, which he discussed in early 2017 during an appearance before state lawmakers.
Before becoming the city's 25th police chief in 2011, Rausch was deputy chief over the Patrol Division, where he spent much of his law enforcement career. As part of his tenure he was on the department's SWAT team from 1997-07.
Rausch is a native of Louisville, Ky.
He has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Louisville. In 2001, received a master's degree in justice administration from the university.
He's attended numerous FBI training seminars and is a graduate of its National Academy Class in 2004.
Rausch's community involvement has included the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, the Family Justice Center, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley and the Metro Drug Coalition.
He is a past president of the Tennessee
Association of Chiefs of Police. Rausch was in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps from 1986-1990.
The Road to Becoming TBI Director
Chief Rausch is one of 44 applicants for the position, according to the TBI. All applicants are vetted through a multi-stage nomination process conducted by a 5-member TBI Nominating Commission, and the next director will ultimately be appointed by the governor from a final list of three candidates.
The Commission met Wednesday to formally discuss the nominees and go over the application process. The first round of selections are conducted by the nominating commission, which narrows the field down to ten candidates in the second round to be interviewed at a public session on May 15 in Nashville.
Those ten will eventually be narrowed down to three finalists by the commission to be considered by Governor Bill Haslam before July 1.
All candidates had to submit their resume and applications for the director position on March 23.
According to the TBI, the preferred candidate for the job would have at least a bachelor's degree and seven years of experience at a command-level position, as well as be able to meet the certification requirements for law enforcement officers in Tennessee and obtain a top secret security clearance.
The TBI said the most ideal candidates would also be able to show they had continued training and self-development in ways like police leadership development programs or being a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Chief Rausch himself graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2004, and has a long list of leadership and professional development qualifications within regional, national and international security under his belt.
The position of TBI Director has a fixed salary of no less than what's provided for the Tennessee commissioner of safety, which is currently set at $158,566 yearly.
According to the TBI, the Director of TBI "is responsible for administering the bureau of more than 500 employees statewide as its chief executive officer and oversees an annual budget of over $75 million."