La Vergne begins search for new police chief after sex scandal

The city has hired a firm to conduct the search.
Five La Vergne Police Department officers were fired this week.
Five La Vergne Police Department officers were fired this week.(WSMV)
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 3:02 PM EDT
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LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WSMV) – A recruiting firm has been selected to help the City of La Vergne find a new police chief after a sex scandal within the department led to a half-dozen firings.

The firm, Ralph Andersen & Associates, plans to begin the nationwide search for a new police chief by holding two community meetings to allow residents to weigh in on what they feel are attributes their new police chief should have.

The meetings will be held April 20 at 7 p.m. and April 22 at 11:30 a.m. at the La Vergne Public Library meeting room. The firm also plans to meet individually with members of the La Vergne Police Department to conduct a similar survey.

“Since our police chief position has been open, I’ve tasked our HR department with finding a recruiting company to assist us with this nationwide search,” Mayor Jason Cole said in a media release. “This first step in the process will ensure we have a good vision for what expectations our community and department have for the next police chief.”

The City of La Vergne fired former Police Chief Burrel “Chip” Davis in late January in response to a third-party investigation, making him the sixth officer fired in connection to the sex scandal that has made national headlines.

Five officers were fired initially after an internal investigation showed officers were having sex on and off duty and on city property, as well as exchanging nude photos. A third-party investigative report shows Davis, who was heavily involved in questioning fired officers, asked for and received nude photos before the investigation began.

Investigators believe Davis facilitated a hostile work environment in violation with city policy and the rules of the police department by receiving nude images and video of Hall and failing to report it to city officials.

Investigators wrote in the investigation’s conclusion: “We find, therefore, that by failing to report or discipline officers engaged in inappropriate sexual activity, withholding information from City officials conducting the (initial investigation) and facilitating a hostile work environment in the sharing of nude images of subordinate employees, Chief Davis impeded the initial investigation contrary to City policy and permitted – if not encouraged – conduct potentially contrary to state and federal law.”