KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Six month after their previous leader was fired, the Athens Police Department has a new chief.

City Manager C. Seth Sumner announced Monday that Fred Schultz has been appointed Chief of the Athens Police Department

After Cliff Couch was fired from the position in October 2021, Schultz was chosen to serve as the interim Chief of Police. Previously, Schultz served as Lieutenant of the Special Services Division of the Athens Police Department. He has worked for the city since 2004.

He also worked with the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office for 12 years and one year with the Regional Drug Task Force. He also served in the United States Marine Corps for six years.

“I am truly humbled by the opportunity to lead the Athens Police Department and to serve the citizens of Athens. I love my hometown, so this means more than a title to me. It is the continuation of a lifetime commitment. I want to ensure that the Athens Police Department and our officers reach their fullest potential,” said Schultz.


“Chief Schultz’ team-first approach and the steadfast support he has shown during the interim role has been remarkable. I have been particularly impressed by the influence his leadership has had on the entire department and all of Team Athens. Our officers provide a mission critical role protecting our community and I am very proud to see stability and support in their work environment. Chief Schultz has my full confidence, and I am grateful that he will continue serving the Friendly City in this new role,” said Sumner.