Organizational changes and promotions to strengthen precision policing and community engagement
Chief John Drake today announced new organizational changes and promotions to the MNPD to further strengthen the department’s three fundamental pillars of precision policing, community engagement and organizational excellence.
Current Madison precinct commander Greg Blair, a 24-year veteran of the MNPD, is appointed to the rank of Inspector effective Sunday and will lead a new Office of Crime Strategies. Blair will work with precinct commanders, crime analysts, detective components and other divisions of the police department to ensure a coordinated response to emerging and widespread crime issues. Blair will also lead efforts towards the creation of a real-time crime center. Blair holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Edinboro.
“Inspector Blair will be responsible for focusing on an overview of crime in Nashville, with an emphasis on violence, and developing and implementing strategies, department-wide if necessary, to further enhance public safety,” Chief Drake said. “In an ever-growing city like ours with over 500 square miles, it’s important that we evolve our work to identify significant crime issues early and then quickly develop a precision plan to reduce and prevent victimization.”
Succeeding Blair as commanding officer of the Madison compound is Josh Blaisdell, a 20-year veteran of the MNPD who is currently the captain of the Criminal Investigations Division. Blaisdell holds a bachelor’s degree from Murray State University.
Lt. Brian Anderson, a 19-year veteran of the MNPD who currently oversees the Central Compound Investigations Unit, is promoted to captain effective Sunday and will oversee the Criminal Investigations Division, which includes the Homicide Unit, the Cold Case Unit, Fraud Unit and Auto Theft Unit. . Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University.
Chief Drake also announced today the creation of the Police Activities League, which will develop athletic and enrichment programs for Nashville youth in coordination with community groups, Metro Parks and, most importantly, parents.
“The most rewarding job I’ve had with this police department in my 34 years in office was as an officer in the 1990s assigned to the Police Athletic League,” Chief Drake said. “We have touched the lives of countless young people over these years and have also been able to offer advice to parents along the way. It’s clear to me that Nashville needs a police activities league now more than ever to help keep kids on track and away from bad influences that can negatively impact their lives for years to come. .
The Police Athletic League was disbanded in the early 2000s as the leadership of the MNPD at the time moved in a different direction.
The new Police Activities League will be led by Bonita Blue-DeVault, a 17-year MNPD veteran who is currently a school resource sergeant. His promotion to the rank of lieutenant is effective Sunday. She will be joined by Officer Natalia Johnson, who has been working on a Policing League plan for several months as part of her assignment in the Office of Community Outreach and Partnerships, and Sergeant Brett Kenney, who is transferring from the center speaker.
In further promotions beginning Sunday, Lt. Lee Kendall, a 20-year veteran of the MNPD, is promoted to Captain/Executive Officer in the Office of Community Services, where he is currently assigned. Kendall holds a bachelor’s degree from Campbellsville University and a master’s degree from Cumberland University.
Lt. Mike Buchanan, a 13-year veteran of the MNPD, is promoted to captain and will lead the Youth Services Division. Buchanan, who is currently assigned to the Specialized Investigations Division, holds a bachelor’s degree from Bethel University. Buchanan succeeds current Youth Services Captain Jason Proctor, who will fill a vacancy and lead the police component of Metro Parks.
Sergeant Derek Smith, a 14-year veteran of the MNPD, is promoted to Lieutenant and will take on increasing responsibilities within the Special Events Unit, where he is currently assigned.
Sergeant Derek Keeler, a 16-year veteran of the MNPD, is promoted to lieutenant and will lead the Midtown Hills Precinct evening shift. Keeler, who is currently assigned to the Office of Community Outreach and Partnerships, holds a bachelor’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University.
“All those promoted have gone through an independently administered written and oral testing process for their new ranks and have a strong desire to serve Nashville in these leadership roles,” Chief Drake said.