Former TBI Chief Larry Wallace To Try To Straighten Out Cleveland Police Department

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - by Hollie Webb

A motion was passed during a Monday Cleveland City Council meeting authorizing the hiring of Larry Wallace to serve as a law enforcement consultant to review the organizational structure of the Cleveland Police Department.

This comes after the demotion of Dennis Maddux after an incident with an officer's wife. Maddux replaced David Bishop, who left for health-related reasons after being appointed as an interim after Wes Snyder's retirement.

City Councilman Dale Hughes said, "It's extremely embarrassing to have three police chiefs in five days.

He said, "Whoever we get, we have to have somebody that someone has looked at from head to toe."

Maddux was demoted after an alleged altercation between himself, a fellow officer and that officer's wife. The other officer, Jeff Griggs, was arrested on a domestic assault charge. According to police reports, Griggs' wife was in the car with Maddux when Griggs came up and began taking pictures of them. The assault allegedly occurred when Ms. Griggs jumped out and tried to get the camera and the memory card. Ms. Griggs told police her husband bit her in the struggle.

 Though Maddux had been acting chief for several weeks, his demotion came after only one day as the official chief.

 Captain Mark Gibson has been appointed interim police chief.

 Larry Wallace is the former director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as well as the former Colonel and Commanding Officer of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the only person in state history to serve as both. He has had over 40 years of law enforcement experience, including time as a TBI agent and the sheriff of McMinn County.

 Since his retirement in 2003, he has taught criminal justice at Tennessee Wesleyan College.

 City Manager Janice Casteel said she hoped Mr. Wallace would be able to help review and reform the policies in place at the Cleveland Police Department.

 Many people have supported hiring someone from outside the area in order to start with a clean slate, it was stated.

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