KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A 28-year veteran of the Knoxville Police Department has been promoted to the newly-created position of assistant chief.

After the Knoxville City Council approved the position of assistant chief of police in October, Police Chief Eve Thomas has named Lieutenant Mark Fortner to the position. Fortner has been with KPD since June of 1993 after he graduated from the KPD Training Academy.

Throughout his years with Knoxville Police, he has served as a Patrol Sergeant, the commander of the Central Business District, which encompasses downtown Knoxville, and as a Patrol Lieutenant. Prior to accepting the appointment as Assistant Chief, Fortner had served as Chief Thomas’ executive officer since June 2020.

“I am humbled that Mark has agreed to take on this new role,” Thomas said. “Mark has faithfully served the Knoxville community for nearly three decades and has proven to be a caring and confident leader. Mark is incredibly knowledgeable, a dedicated public servant, and committed to our mission of ensuring the safety of the Knoxville community. He will be a great asset to the department in this role.”

“When Chief Thomas presented me with this opportunity, I jumped at it,” Fortner said. “I care deeply about the men and women of this department and will always act in their best interests as well as the best interests of the community. I am ready to get to work.”

Upon Chief Thomas’ retirement, the next Chief of Police will have the option to retain Fortner as Assistant Chief or make an appointment of their choosing. If not retained, Fortner would return to his previous rank as Lieutenant.