February 7, 2011 - Mayor Daniel Brown announced today that Knoxville Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV is retiring effective March 26.
The highly-regarded Owen, a former FBI agent who moved to Knoxville with the FBI in 1981 to investigate the Butcher bank fraud cases, has been chief of the 558 member Knoxville Police Department since 2004. Prior to that Owen had been involved with the KPD serving as the first chairman of the city's Police Advisory and Review Committee when it was created in 1998 until he was appointed chief.
Mayor Daniel Brown said that the popular Owen, known as "IV" will be difficult to replace. Owen has had good relationships with officers in the department, the city's residents and has developed strong ties between the KPD and other law enforcement agencies in the area that have benefited the City of Knoxville and its citizens.
"IV has done an incredible job as police chief," said Mayor Daniel Brown. "He heads a very professional organization which has been consistently recognized for excellence."
Chief Owen said, "To serve as police chief has been one of the most rewarding opportunities in my lifetime. The men and women of the KPD are true professionals who are dedicated to their job and the citizens of Knoxville."
During Chief Owen's tenure the Knoxville Police Department has continued to excel as one of the premiere law enforcement agencies in the nation. Chief Owen oversaw the accreditation of the department's training academy, the first municipal training academy in the nation to be accredited by The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA). Under his tenure the department was recognized as a Flagship agency in 2009 representing an extraordinary level of excellence in an accredited law enforcement agency. In 2010, the department's training academy was also awarded Flagship status marking the first time that a municipal agency has been awarded duel Flagship status in the nation.
Brown said the city will seek to select a new police chief from within the KPD and he intends to interview candidates and make a decision within a short period of time.
Chief Owen is a native of Cynthiana, Kentucky and attended Carson-Newman College where he earned a degree in accounting. He retired from the FBI in 1995 following a 22-year-career there and managed a security consulting firm, Sterling Owen & Associates for nine years.