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Kingsport Police Chief Gale Osborne announces retirement

Rain Smith • Apr 5, 2013 at 2:29 AM

Nearly six years to the day since his promotion to Chief of Kingsport Police, and after 33 years of service to the department, Gale Osborne has announced plans to retire.

According to an e-mail from city spokesperson Tim Whaley, Osborne's retirement will be effective May 17. A prepared statement from Osborne says he'll continue to place faith and family first in his life, with retirement bringing a new phase in his life by helping care for his mother.

"Regarding my work family, I am so grateful for my brothers and sisters in Public Safety that continue to put their lives on the line every day," Osborne said. "They do so with a quiet determination to keep each other and our community safe. I am proud of their efforts and professionalism, and I will rest easy knowing that I continue to be protected by them. I hope that I have honored them as well, in my conduct as their Chief of Police."

Osborne has worked his entire law enforcement career in the Kingsport Police Department, where he was a rookie police officer in 1980.

Over that time he's served as a member of the SWAT Team, Sergeant over the Training Division, Watch Commander, and Captain of Operations over the Patrol, Detective, Vice, Community Policing, Explosives Disposal, SWAT and Special Operations divisions.

In 1995, Osborne was promoted to deputy chief of administration, followed by a promotion to deputy chief of operations in 1999. He served as Interim Police Chief from November of 2006 through his promotion to Chief in April of 2007.

City Manager John Campbell, who promoted Osborne shortly after becoming City Manager, thanked Osborne for building a smarter, more flexible and better trained police force ready to respond to any emergency at any time.

"Gale Osborne is a person of great moral integrity," Campbell said. "He kept the best tenets of faith, family and the City of Kingsport at the center of his heart. He promoted several innovations in his tenure as Chief, including a move to paperless reporting that saves countless man hours and dramatically improves efficiency, implemented CompStat to deploy the use of statistical data to forecast and review crime trends in the community, and certainly, helped lead the effort in partnership with the District Attorney General and state legislators to rid our community of the scourge of synthetic drugs."

Campbell indicates he'll employ a process similar to the one used to select Osborne in hiring the city's the next Police Chief. This will include selecting a panel of sitting Chiefs of Police from other communities to assist in narrowing the field of applicants.

In the meantime Deputy Police Chief David Quillin, who oversees police operations, will serve as Interim Police Chief.

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