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The Chattanooga Police Department entered the new century with a reputation for integrity and professionalism. Much credit for that belongs to Chief Hill. He recognized the importance of keeping accurate records and created the position of bookkeeper for the force.

In 1901 the state gave up control of the police. A board of public safety was established to oversee the department. The department also established a bureau of identification, which used the Bertillion method of criminal identification. This required that a series of complicated physical measurements be taken through the use of special instruments. The system met with much success but eventually gave way to the Henry system of fingerprint identification. The Chattanooga Police Department was one of the first in the country to adopt this new system of identification in 1905.

In 1905, a trend towards machine politics was developing in Chattanooga and John T. Mosely replaced Chief Hill as chief of police. Mosely served as chief for four years. He successfully resisted the political control that was being exerted over the department.

Chief Mosely started the department's first mounted patrol unit. Six additional patrolmen were hired and more horses were procured. Three mounted officers were assigned to each watch and the unit was considered a highly successful venture.

Mosely was the first chief who went of record in support of education and physical fitness for police officers. In his first year as chief, he recommended that the department be provided with a reading and recreation room as well as a gymnasium. It took 69 more years for his recommendations to be met!

The department received its first communication system in 1906 when a Granwell Board was installed. This system linked ten call boxes that were located throughout the city. Beat officers were required to call in every half-hour and were given any calls for assistance that had come in from their beats. Serious emergency calls were still answered from headquarters by mounted officers.

Chattanooga Police Department
3410 Amnicola Hwy.
Chattanooga, TN 37406 (map)

Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 AM through 4:30 PM

Emergencies: 911

To report a crime or request assistance: (423) 698-2525

General Information:
(423) 643-5000

Crime Prevention and Community Outreach:
(423) 643-5090

Crime Stoppers Hotline:
(423) 698-3333

Drug Tip Hotline:
(423) 493-BUST (2878)

Homicide Tip Line: 
(423) 643-5100

Homeland Security




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Photo by Mike Williams