Scarbrough stepping down

Rick Scarbrough
After 23 years with the Clinton Police Department, Rick Scarbrough is stepping down as chief of police to become the Executive Director of the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center.

Scarbrough will start with LEIC on Aug. 1 and will succeed LEIC’s current director Don Green, who is retiring July 31 after 10 years with the center.

“Rick not only has strong law enforcement ties throughout the state, he’s also very familiar with LEIC and its training having served as an instructor for the last three years,” said IPS Vice President Herb Byrd III. “We appreciate everything Don has worked diligently to accomplish with LEIC and are confident that Rick will continue building upon the agency’s success.”

Rick has 29 years of law enforcement experience, six of those with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and 23 with Clinton, serving as Clinton’s Chief of Police the last 16.

A 1999 graduate of the FBI National Academy, Scarbrough also has Bachelors and Master’s Degrees in Organizational Management from Tusculum College. He completed the Senior Leadership Seminar by the College of Policing in Manchester, England. He is currently the 1st Vice President of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, as well as their Finance Review Committee.

Since 2015, he’s served part-time as an instructor for several LEIC classes including STOP Domestic Violence awareness training, capital budgeting, leadership and community policing. Scarbrough said he is eager to get started full-time with LEIC and is looking forward to this opportunity with UT.

“I’m enthusiastic about what we can do at LEIC and look forward to working with law enforcement professionals across the state,” he said. “The men and women that represent the respected profession of law enforcement will be our number one priority.”

LEIC, one of six agencies in the IPS organization, provides training for the law enforcement community across the nation. The center offers the National Forensic Academy and the Southeastern Leadership Academy as well as individual courses on forensic investigation, school safety, response to an active shooter and officer decision making.

In announcing Scarbrough’s impending departure, City Manager Roger Houck said he did so with “mixed emotions.”

“When I say mixed emotions, I’m excited for the opportunity my friend has, but as City Manager I obviously hate to lose him as our Police Chief.” Said Houck

Under Scarbrough’s leadership the department won the 2005 Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) Statewide Award for Top Alcohol Prevention Program, 2008 GHSO Overall Traffic Safety for agency less than 25 officers, 2010 GHSO 2nd Place Overall Traffic Safety for agency less than 25 officers, 2014 University of Tennessee MTAS Excellence in Police Services Award for Clinton Police Department, 2014 TACP Police Chief of the Year and in 2017 the Clinton Police Department received its first ever state accreditation.

“Our success is a tribute to the professionalism and ability of our officers. We have been fortunate to retain quality individuals and that has led to the continuity we’ve enjoyed. Combine that with our great community and it makes my job much easier! It has been my honor to serve my hometown and contribute what I could to maintain the quality of life we enjoy here. I’d like to also add that I’ve enjoyed the support of some great councils in the past and this council is no different. Roger Houck has and is a class act as well. I’ve been fortunate,” Scarbrough said.

In addition to the police department, Scarbrough is responsible for the Building and Codes Department as well as E911 communications, with a total staff of 45 and a budget of approximately $4 million.

“Rick and I have discussed the possibility he may be leaving and we both feel that Asst. Chief Vaughn Becker is ready for the opportunity. We have had a succession plan in place for some time.” said Houck. 

Becker will become the interim Chief effective Aug. 1.