About the Chattanooga Police Department
On December 20, 1839, the Tennessee legislature passed "an
act to establish the town of Chattanooga in the county of Hamilton, and to incorporate the inhabitants thereof." The names
of Chattanooga’s early constables are not known, since the city’s records were destroyed by Union forces during
the War Between the States, but it is known that constables were appointed by the city councils until 1852.
By 1851, Chattanooga had outgrown its primitive form of government
and was a thriving community. The state legislature, feeling that the 1839 charter was no longer adequate to meet the needs
of the growing city, passed a 2nd charter under the title of "An act to incorporate the city of Chattanooga, and for other
This act reorganized the city council and authorized the
appointment of a city marshal to replace the town constable. Unlike constables, city marshals could hire assistants and term
them "policemen" On January 5th, 1852, Thomas McMinn was appointed as the first city marshal of Chattanooga and a small number
of "policemen" were appointed with him. The Chattanooga Police Department was born.
As of July 2002, the Chattanooga Police Department employed
439 sworn police officers, of which 313 were assigned to uniformed duties. As
of 2006, the Chattanooga Police Department has an authorized strength of 460 sworn police officers and 211 civilian personnel;
and, a budget in excess of $40 million dollars. The Chattanooga Police Department
is organized into two major commands: Operations and, Administration and Support.
The Operations Command is responsible for the Patrol Division,
Investigative Division and the Special Operations Division. The Administration
and Support Command includes Administrative Services, Technical Services, Training and Personnel and, Operations Support.