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Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy resigns amid investigation

From Local 3 News: After serving as the Chief of the Chattanooga Police Department for just over two years, Celeste Murphy has tendered her resign

From Local 3 News: After serving as the Chief of the Chattanooga Police Department for just over two years, Celeste Murphy has tendered her resignation.

 

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly accepted the resignation of Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy Wednesday.

 

Questions have surrounded Murphy’s tenure in Chattanooga, from her city of residency and the Brady letters, which prompted the reassignment of 15 CPD officers, and was later overturned.

 

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says their investigation into Murphy’s city of residency is still open.

 

In May, 2024, Murphy extended her employment contract with the City of Chattanooga for another year, which was approved by Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly.

 

A news release from Kelly’s office said:

“This morning I accepted the resignation of Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy, effective immediately. While the circumstances surrounding the situation have been challenging, I respect her desire to preserve the integrity of the Chattanooga Police Department,” said Mayor Kelly. “The brave men and women of CPD serve our community with distinction every day and over the past 2 years, Chattanooga has seen significant reductions in crime and CPD has grown their reputation as national leaders in community policing, violence reduction, crisis co-response, and solving cases. Under Chief Murphy’s leadership, 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.”

 

Kelly’s office said that Harry Sommers, CPD’s current Executive Chief of Police and a 40-year law enforcement veteran, will serve as Interim Chief of Police.

 

Before coming to Chattanooga, Murphy served in the Atlanta Police Department, starting as a patrol officer and rising to Deputy Chief before her move to the Scenic City.