KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The City of Knoxville introduced the new police chief Thursday morning in a press conference. A release was shared ahead of the event from Knoxville’s Director of Communications Kristin Farley.

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, city interview advisory committee members, plus other city leaders introduced the new chief of the Knoxville Police Department at the news conference at the City-County Building at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Noel, who was not named in the initial release from the city before the press conference, was present for the introduction. The new police chief, as well as the city’s interview advisory committee members, also took questions.

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Sources had reported that New Orleans Police Department Deputy Superintendent Paul Noel was expected to step into the role.

A 25-year law enforcement veteran, he was the recipient of the 2021 Gary Hayes Award from the Police Executive Research Forum, which honors an officer in a leadership role who shows “imagination, creativity, resourcefulness, and initiative in the design or implementation of new approaches to policing.”

In January 2022, Noel was among finalists for Chattanooga’s police chief. He was not chosen for the role, instead another finalist, Celeste Murphy would be picked and became the city’s first female chief of police.

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The city had been searching for her replacement since last fall when Police Chief Eve Thomas, the first woman to lead KPD, announced her retirement.