At a press conference yesterday afternoon, Mayor Andy Berke provided a status update regarding the search for the new Chattanooga Police Chief after former Chief Bobby Dodd retired last December, mentioning that the candidate list has been whittled down to fewer than 20 applicants and that the new Chief must have the ability to sing the National Anthem.
“The butchering of the National Anthem by a Hamilton County deputy sheriff several years ago is still fresh upon our minds,” said Berke. “We must never, ever let this happen again, for the sake of our city’s reputation, and so our children can hold their heads up high when speaking about their hometown.”
Berke was referring to the viral video of a poor delivery of the National Anthem with incorrect lyrics that gained widespread notoriety across the nation, even making Time magazine’s top ten list of “Worst National-Anthem Renditions” before the deputy was able to perform a “do over” on Good Morning America earlier this year, aided by Dierks Bentley.
In addition to having ample police leadership experience, a bachelor’s degree and knowledge about violence reduction programs, the new Police Chief will be judged by a panel of local music industry experts, American Idol-style, in a live televised singing competition.
“We should have high expectations for our next Police Chief,” said Berke. “We would expect no less in the land of the brave, and the home of the free.”