Chattanooga Police Chief Resigns Under TBI Investigation

Image Credit: @Chattanooga_gov / X & Canva

The Tennessee Conservative [By Adelia Kirchner] –

Chattanooga’s Chief of Police, Celeste Murphy, resigned on Wednesday amidst a TBI investigation that launched in May of this year. 

On Wednesday, June 26th, 2024, Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly announced that he accepted Murphy’s resignation earlier that day.

“This morning I accepted the resignation of Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy, effective immediately,” Mayor Kelly stated. “While the circumstances surrounding the situation have been challenging, I respect her desire to preserve the integrity of the Chattanooga Police Department.”

“Under Chief Murphy’s leadership,” he continued, “the department has achieved a homicide investigation closure rate of more than 90%, which is roughly double the national average and is a testament to the strong relationship CPD has built with the community they serve. Public safety is the foundation of healthy communities, and finding the right person to lead the Chattanooga Police Department as our next Chief of Police is mission critical.”

Murphy was appointed to her position by Mayor Kelly back in February of 2022.

Residency concerns about Murphy living outside of Chattanooga were initially brought up in March of 2024.

At the time, the City of Chattanooga told news outlets that the city auditor found the allegations about Chief Murphy’s residency status “to be unsubstantiated.”

“We are confident Chief Murphy can meet legal residency requirements and address any issues with her out-of-date homestead exemption in Georgia,” the city said. “Mayor Kelly will execute the one-year extension of Chief Murphy’s contract as planned.”

In May, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) announced that they had launched an investigation into Murphy. 

“A TBI investigation was recently initiated about my place of residence,” Murphy wrote on her social media. “I will cooperate fully with the TBI investigation. I previously initiated an Internal Affairs investigation concerning the aforementioned inquiry. That IA investigation will now be paused until the TBI investigation is completed.”

The TBI investigation into Murphy is still ongoing. 

Now that Murphy has resigned, the Chattanooga Police Department’s (CPD) Executive Chief of Police and 40-year law enforcement veteran, Harry Sommers, will serve as Interim Chief of Police. 

“The men and women of CPD work hard every day, often in the face of grave danger, to keep our community safe and enforce the law,” Sommers stated. “It’s an honor to lead one of the finest police forces in America as Interim Chief. While our officers may have new leadership, their commitment to service with integrity is unchanged. We will continue to effectively enforce the law while building relationships with the community in order to prevent crime.”

Mayor Kelly plans on creating a community advisory committee to conduct the search for a new police chief.

The committee will be chaired by City Councilwoman Raquetta Dotley.

Other members will include community leaders, faith leaders, and CPD officers.

Former Chattanooga Chief of Police, Fred Fletcher, is slated to assist the committee in an advisory capacity.

About the Author: Adelia Kirchner is a Tennessee resident and reporter for the Tennessee Conservative. Currently the host of Subtle Rampage Podcast, she has also worked for the South Dakota State Legislature and interned for Senator Bill Hagerty’s Office in Nashville, Tennessee. You can reach Adelia at

3 thoughts on “Chattanooga Police Chief Resigns Under TBI Investigation

  • June 27, 2024 at 6:34 pm

    She hits all the intersectionality points. Diversity, Inclusion, Equity is a terrible idea.

    • June 28, 2024 at 12:04 pm

      YOU are so right and we see it all over the country, and everyone knows it and wont say a word.


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