Phil Henderson

Acting Chief Phil Henderson is among the top four candidates to fill the TPD post. 

The city is one step closer to having a new chief of police, according to city officials.

According to City Administrator Jennifer Moody, the original field of 73 applicants has been narrowed down to just four, including the current acting chief, Phil Henderson.

The three other candidates are Jason Williams, of Shelbyville; Phillip Sullivan, of Abingdon, Virginia; and Michael Eric Anderson of Franklin, according to Moody.


The candidates

Henderson has been with the Tullahoma Police Department for 32 years, starting in 1987. He spent 16 years as a patrol sergeant before being named the Lieutenant over the Support Services Division two years ago.

Williams is the current Chief Deputy with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, a position he has held since September of 2014. Prior to that he spent more than 18 years with the Shelbyville Police Department.

Sullivan is the current chief of police for the Abingdon, Virginia, police department. Information regarding his complete tenure with APD was not available press time.

Anderson is currently a Lieutenant with the Franklin Police Department. Information on Anderson’s tenure with FPD was also unavailable by press time.


Next steps

According to previous statements from Moody, these four candidates will participate in a “knowledge and skills assessment process” to be conducted by the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) on Thursday and Friday of this week.

“After the assessment process,” Moody said in a July 24 email, “I will select the final two or three candidates in a final interview.”

That interview, Moody said in July, will “likely” take place during “the last week of August,” after which she will make a recommendation to the Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

“My recommendation appointment must be confirmed by the Board of Mayor and Alderman and will most likely occur at the first meeting in September,” she said in the email.

According to the city’s charter, only the city board may hire or fire a police chief.

According to Moody, of the 73 applications from 23 states for the police chief position, 32 “did not meet the requirements of the job as defined in our job description and job advertisement.”

 The job posting listed a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field “with at least 10 years of experience in law enforcement and seven years of supervisory and command experience.”

All candidates were required to be certified police officers.

The city was also looking for “qualified candidates who have continued their educational training with an emphasis on leadership.”

Erin McCullough may be reached at

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