PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) - Pigeon Forge named a new police chief Friday in an announcement made by city manager Earlene Teaser.
Richard Catlett begins his new role on Friday as retiring Police Chief Jack Baldwin, a 42-year veteran of the department, steps down. In January, Baldwin announced his plans to retire/
A Pigeon Forge native, Catlett, 51, graduated from Sevier County High School in 1985, and was hired in 1991 by the city that year as a police officer. He is a 27-year veteran of the department.
Catlett graduated from Walters State Community College and earned a degree in criminal justice from Bethel University in 2014. He is a 2001 graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy and a 1991 graduate of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army from 1985-88. He is a member of the 2014 Leadership Sevier class.
“Of the many strengths that Richard brings to this position, his greatest is his ability to lead others,” Teaster said. “Great leadership has taken our police department to a level of excellence that I know Richard will continue to build on. Our elected officials and our community join me in offering our full support to him moving forward.”
“The opportunity to serve the people of Pigeon Forge in this capacity is humbling,” Catlett said. “With the best interest of our community being my first priority, I look forward to working alongside the members of our department and our city officials to maintain the top-notch reputation our department has earned and taking it to the next level.”
Catlett resides in Pigeon Forge with his wife Stacey. They have one daughter, Bailey.
As police chief in the popular family vacation destination, Catlett’s oversight of public safety includes Pigeon Forge’s 6,000 year-round residents and the more than 10 million annual visitors to the city.