Joe Garner retiring as police chief after 36 years in law enforcement

Joe Garner retiring as police chief after 36 years in law enforcement
Joe Garner retiring as police chief after 36 years in law enforcement | Joe Garner retiring as police chief after 36 years in law enforcement
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
After 36 years in law enforcement, Union City Police Chief Joe Garner is retiring.
Garner has notified city officials of his intention to retire effective May 19.
“After long deliberation and consideration, I am announcing that I will be retiring from the City of Union City …,” he said in a letter dated April 16 and submitted to city manager Kathy Dillon and the city council.
He said it has been “an honor and privilege to have served the City of Union City” since September 1979 and he thanked them for their support throughout the years.
His retirement is expected to be discussed at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
Garner, 56, has served as chief of the Union City Police Department for 19 years. He started his career with the Union City Police Department on Sept. 10, 1979, and worked his way up through the ranks to become chief of police May 23, 1993.
As chief, Garner has been a leader across Tennessee in pro-active efforts to reduce crime in his community. During the Clinton administration, he and the Union City Police Department were recognized in Washington, D.C., during an initial announcement of the COPs Program.
He has continued his community policing efforts with several national awards for the department’s work in the National Night Out program and has led the department in achieving several awards for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Tennessee Law Enforcement Challenge.
He earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from the University of Tennessee at Martin and actually began his law enforcement career with the City of Sharon, where he worked as a patrol officer 1976-77 and then as chief of police 1977-79.
He came on board with the City of Union City in 1979 as a patrol officer and attained the rank of patrolman first class in 1980. From there, he was promoted to patrol sergeant in 1985; lieutenant in investigations in 1988; and captain in investigations and administration in 1991, prior to being named chief in 1993.
Garner is also a graduate of the 188th Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and a 1997 graduate of the Rural Executive Management Institute.
He is currently serving as president of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police — the state’s premier professional law enforcement organization — and most recently has served as chairman of the Obion County Prevention Coalition, network coordinator for the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, law enforcement representative for the Governor’s Homeland Security Council, municipal law enforcement representative for the Tennessee 9th District Homeland Security Board and chairman of the board for the 27th Judicial Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.
Garner also retired June 30, 2009, from the U.S. military through his assignment to the Tennessee Army National Guard, finishing at the rank of colonel with 31 years of service.
He and his wife, Cathy, make their home in Union City and are members of Sunswept Baptist Church.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 4.30.12

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