Home / Featured / Follow-Up: Scarbrough to leave CPD for LEIC; Becker tapped to succeed

Follow-Up: Scarbrough to leave CPD for LEIC; Becker tapped to succeed

Tuesday, longtime Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough announced he would be leaving that post at the end of this month after 16 years to become the next executive director of the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center.

Scarbrough will succeed current director Don Green, who is retiring effective July 31st. Scarbrough’s first day on the job will be August 1st.

Scarbrough, a Clinton native, has spent 29 years in law enforcement in Anderson County, six years with the Sheriff’s Department and the last 23 with the Clinton PD, where he has served as chief since 2002.

Scarbrough is no stranger to LEIC, as he has served as a part-time instructor teaching classes including STOP Domestic Violence awareness training, capital budgeting, leadership and community policing. LEIC, one of six agencies in UT’s Institute of Public Service 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.

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.
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.

Clinton City Manager Roger Houck said in a press release that Assistant Chief Vaughn Becker will be named interim chief, effective August 1st, and is widely considered to be the front-runner for the permanent post. Scarbrough and Houck both said Tuesday that a plan of succession has been in the works for a couple of years now.

Scarbrough says that Becker “is a top cop, a great cop…Vaughn’s the best cop in Anderson County and very well could be the best in East Tennessee, ” adding that Becker is “ready” for the new job.

Scarbrough does point out that Clinton is home and he and his family won’t be going anywhere, as LEIC’s office is located just down the road in Oak Ridge.

He called it an honor to be the police chief in a community like Clinton, which he calls special.

We here at WYSH want to express our congratulations to Rick Scarbrough on this exciting new opportunity and wish him well in his new role and also want to congratulate Vaughn Becker and also wish him the best of luck as he takes over August 1st.

On a personal note, this reporter would like to thank Rick for the access he has provided over the years, his willingness to share information whenever possible and his commitment to this place that we call home.

(City of Clinton press release)  It is with mixed emotions that City Manager Roger Houck is announcing the departure of long time Chief of Police, Rick Scarbrough.  Scarbrough has accepted a position as the Executive Director of the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center. “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.
Scarbrough has 29 years of law enforcement experience, 6 of those with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and 23 with Clinton, serving as Clinton’s Chief 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. 
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!” Said Chief Scarbrough.
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 Assistant 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 August 1st.

(LEIC press release)  The UT Institute for Public Service (IPS) has tapped Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough to serve as the next executive director for its Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC). Scarbrough will succeed LEIC’s current director Don Green, who is retiring July 31 after 10 years with the center.

Scarbrough, who will start with LEIC on August 1, has served as Clinton’s police chief since 2002. He’s worked with the city of Clinton since 1995 when he started as a community education officer. 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. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organizational management from Tusculum College.

“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.”

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.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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