Metro police shuffle leadership to fill holes

Friday, October 8, 2010 at 2:31pm

A round of police promotions announced Friday should move the department back to even ground after key departures and a hectic year following the May flood response.

Chief Steve Anderson announced moves Friday morning to appoint two new deputy chiefs, filling holes created by the recent retirement of Deputy Chief Honey Pike and Anderson’s own slide from deputy chief to chief in the wake of former Chief Ronal Serpas’ departure to New Orleans.

Deputy Chief Lousie Kelton — who along with Anderson took on extra duty when Serpas left in May and Pike retired this summer to become the assistant chief of the Vanderbilt Police Department — will lead the Field Operations Bureau Anderson previously oversaw.

“Myself and Chief Kelton have been assuming all four of those roles,” Anderson said, “so it’s going to allow us to more closely focus on our assigned role … we’ll be sharing the work again.”

Two precinct commanders — Cmdr. Damian Huggins and Hermitage Cmdr. Todd Henry — made deputy chief roles. Huggins, who led the Central Precinct to become Precinct of the Year in June, will oversee the Investigative Services Bureau, which includes criminal and specialized investigations.

Moving from commander of the Hermitage Precinct, Henry will oversee the Administrative Services Bureau, which includes training, records, information and technology.

Capt. Michele Donegan, formerly over the Domestic Violence Division, will take over as the Hermitage commander, while Capt. Jason Reinbold, executive officer of the Field Operations Bureau, will be the new Central Precinct commander.

Lt. Dhana Jones and Lt. Brian Johnson were both made captains. Jones will take over at Domestic Violence; Johnson will replace Reinbold in Field Operations.

Four officers were also promoted to sergeant and three sergeants made lieutenant.

“The citizens will see no change in service. Each of these are going to work with each in making this transition.”

Anderson said the decisions on who to promote were difficult with a deep pool of candidates from which to choose. He’ll go back to that same well in the near future when two new precincts are added to the department in Madison at the old Peterbilt facility on Myatt Drive, and in south Nashville between Hillsboro Pike and Nolensville Pike from downtown to the county line.

“And this is why we need to get situated today, because we need to start planning for those two new precincts,” Anderson said.