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The Daily News Journal

La Vergne begins search for next police chief, invites community input

By Scott Broden, Murfreesboro Daily News Journal,

  • Retired California police chief will lead community meetings
  • Mayor disciplines nine officers, including chief, based on sexual misconduct investigation findings
  • Mayor fires 6 and suspends 3
  • City faces federal sexual harassment lawsuit from one of the fired officers

The La Vergne government will hold two community meetings about the search for the next police chief, a spokeswoman announced.

The events, spokeswoman Anne Smith said, will each be held at the La Vergne Public Library meeting room: 7 p.m. April 20; and 11:30 a.m. April 22.

The search follows Mayor Jason Cole firing former police Chief Burrell "Chip" Davis Feb. 6. Cole made his decision based on an independent investigation that determined Davis knew about inappropriate sexual relationships of at least two officers prior to the mayor firing five officers Jan. 4 and suspending three others without pay based on sexual misconduct accusations.

Cole appointed Deputy Chief Brent Hatcher to serve as the interim police chief. The mayor previously hired Davis to be chief July 2021. Davis had served as interim chief after former Chief Mike Walker retired September 2020.

Mayor Cole, who won a second four-year term in November, will make the hiring decision based on recommendations of a national search, according to the press release. The city hired firm Ralph Andersen & Associates to conduct the search led by Chief Executive Officer Heather Renschler and firm member Daniel Hahn, a retired police chief for two California cities, Sacramento and Roseville.

“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,” Cole said in the press 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.”

Retired California police chief will lead community meetings

Hahn, the retired police chief from California, will be facilitating the two community meetings. These public forums will allow La Vergne residents to express what they feel is most important for the community and what they want to see in the next police chief, according to the press release.

The search firm also plans to meet individually with members of the La Vergne Police Department to conduct a similar survey.

In addition to the search for the next police chief, the city faces a federal lawsuit from Meagan Hall, one of the five fired officers. Hall also filed a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against city that accuses the fired chief and other officers of sexual harassment.

Other defendants in the lawsuit are Davis and two other fired offices: former Sgts. Lewis Powell and Henry "Ty" McGowan.

Note: This story will be updated.

Reach reporter Scott Broden with news tips or questions by emailing him at Follow him on Twitter @ScottBroden. To support his work with The Daily News Journal, sign up for a digital subscription for all stories.

La Vergne Police Department discipline over sexual misconduct issues

Fired officers

  • Chief Chief Burrel "Chip" Davis
  • Patrol officer Maegan Hall
  • Patrol officer Juan Lugo‐Perez
  • Sgt. Henry Ty McGowan
  • Sgt. Lewis Powell
  • Detective Seneca Shields

Officers suspended without pay

  • Patrol/K‐9 officer Larry Holladay (recently resigned)
  • Patrol officer Patrick Magliocco
  • Patrol officer Gavin Schoeberl
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