Deputy Chief Eve Thomas is the new chief of the Knoxville Police Department, replacing Chief David Rausch, who was named by Gov. Bill Haslam to head the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Thomas has been with the department since 1993 and was most recently promoted to deputy chief in February. She will assume leadership of the department on Monday, June 25, and will be the first woman to lead KPD.
At a Thursday press conference, Mayor Madeline Rogero said after personal conversations with the four deputy chiefs as well as rank and file officers, Thomas “emerged as an outstanding choice to assume command of the department.”
Rogero said Thomas “has consistently shown leadership, dedication, thoughtfulness and commitment to public service.”
Thomas served as a patrol officer, field training officer and in other roles before being promoted to sergeant in 1998. In 2005, she was promoted to lieutenant, and then to captain in 2011. In 2013, she was assigned to the Patrol Division as the East District Commander, and in 2015 she assumed an assignment as the Internal Affairs unit commander. She also served in the Criminal Investigations Division before being promoted to deputy chief.
Thomas has a master’s degree from Long Island University’s Homeland Security Master’s Institute and a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Tennessee. She has instructed and developed lesson plans for courses in community and problem-oriented policing, accreditation, officer safety for women and traffic accident investigations. She is a board member for the Salvation Army and is past chair of the Knox County Community Health Council. She is a member of Leadership Knoxville 2013. She has been married to her husband, Karl, for 30 years and has two teenage sons.