KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Week one is now in the books for Knoxville’s newest police chief. Paul Noel officially took over the job last Monday.

“It’s been great,” Noel said of his first week. “The first week is really about meeting as many of the employees of the Knoxville Police Department as possible. I’ve met with all the captains. This week I’m now starting the process of meeting one-on-one with all the lieutenants. And at the same time, I’ll meet with the sergeants as a group and some of the officers in smaller groups as well. My goal is to meet with every single employee of the organization.”

Noel is also already making some changes.

“All of the command staff, the captains, and above will now wear uniforms every day. That’s a visible thing that you will see. That decision was not made because there was a problem with what the command staff was wearing, but I think it’s very important that the community and the men and women of this organization see their leaders wearing this uniform every day, representing our organization, representing me every day, on the field,” said Noel.

In one of his first actions as chief, Noel submitted KPD’s application for the ABLE (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement) Project.

“No matter where I went in policing, if this program didn’t exist, I would have brought it, simply because there’s no downside,” he said. “It’s not like we’re bringing this in because there’s a specific problem. We’re bringing this in because this is what policing in the modern world is about. Not only being tough on crime, not only being efficient and effective in the way we police, but making sure we keep our police officers, we protect their careers, we prevent them from making misconduct mistakes if possible, and also promoting employee wellness as well.”

“I’m super excited to be here, I’m super excited to be a part of this police department,” Noel added. “Knoxville Police Department is a good police department but I’m excited to be able to help enhance that department and make it a first class organization that we all can be proud to be a part of.”

During his first week at the helm, the chief sent out an email to officers at KPD. In it, he announced some notable changes.

Noel says the department’s Internal Affairs Unit and the Accreditation Unit will now both report directly to Assistant Chief Mark Fortner. He led the department temporarily following former Chief Eve Thomas’s retirement.

Noel also said he has directed Captain Brian Evans to lay the groundwork for a vehicle collision review board. He says this board will review every collision involving a police vehicle to see if any adjustments need to be made to KPD policy or training.