CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Chief Alonzo “Al” Ansley, who rose through the ranks of the Clarksville Police Department to earn the City’s “Top Cop” position in 2007, announced he will retire June 30.
“I love and am proud of this great department and consider myself honored to serve a community that is so supportive of law enforcement,” Ansley said.
Over the past 13 years, Chief Ansley has been a driving force in bringing the department into the 21st century, administratively and technologically.
In 2007, he began a push for the department to obtain a national accreditation through the Coalition of Accredited Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), and his efforts came to fruition in 2010 when the department received its initial accreditation. The department is on track to receive its fourth CALEA certification in 2020. Only 7 percent of law enforcement agencies nationwide are accredited.
Growth, improvement and modernization have been the hallmarks of Ansley’s leadership of the department, which has grown to 397 employees, with 312 of those being sworn law enforcement officers.
Throughout his tenure, Ansley has focused on upgrades to training and equipment promoting officer safety, efficiency and accountability. He worked closely with City leaders to provide a state-of-the-art training facility for the department. Last year, the department completed implementation of body-worn cameras and related technology for the entire sworn force.
“Chief Ansley deserves the highest praise possible for the job he has done for the City of Clarksville and its citizens,” Mayor Joe Pitts said. “He skillfully led the Police Department out of troubled times and into an era of not just stability, but of modernization, accreditation and high achievement. Today, Clarksville police officers are among the most well-trained, best equipped and highest performing forces in the country. That’s because of the integrity, leadership and high standards set by Chief Ansley.”
Ansley, 62, an Alabama native and die-hard Alabama football fan, arrived in Clarksville after being stationed at Fort Campbell. He found his calling in law enforcement, and after 33 years is considered a “Cop’s Cop” by his department, his colleagues, community leaders and citizens.
His choice to retire is driven in part by the belief that “You don’t ask your people to do what you can’t do.”
“I’m at the point that the rigors of law enforcement have taken a toll and to remain true to myself I have decided it’s time to pass on the leadership role of this great agency,” Ansley said. “I feel our department has highly qualified, trained leaders that are more than capable to continue to propel this department forward and maintain a transparent agency whose main concern is for the welfare of the department and community they serve.”