New Asheville police chief: Veteran officer Tammy Hooper


Press release here:

After an extensive national search, the city of Asheville announced today that Tammy Hooper will become the city’s next police chief, effective July 20, 2015.

The current Deputy Chief of Police for the City of Alexandria, Va., Hooper brings 26 years of police experience to her new role in Asheville. Hooper held a variety of positions with the Alexandria Police Department, starting as a patrol officer in 1989. During her tenure, she served as commander of the Vice Narcotics Division. She later executed the Alexandria Police Department’s Community Policing Plan. Hooper became the first woman to serve in the rank of captain at the department. In 2007, she became commander of Internal Investigations. Additionally, as a Support Services Division commander, she gained experience in property and evidence oversight, emergency communications and planning, and accreditation.

Among her notable accomplishments Hooper implemented a recruit mentoring program and reduced recruit officer attrition from 38 percent to 3 percent.

“Besides her proven track record as a leader, Tammy brings a diverse set of skills to the Asheville Police Department,” said City Manager Gary Jackson. “Her experience in managing complex systems and her exceptional communication skills make her a great fit.”

“I believe that efficient and effective management begins with communication,” Hooper said. “I want staff to know that their leaders value them and their contributions to the organization. Mentoring, training and promoting professional development are important ways to convey that message.”

After her long tenure in Alexandria, Va., Hooper said she is excited about her move to Asheville. “It is a beautiful, vibrant city. I am eager to get to know the police department, other city departments and the community as a whole,” she said.

Hooper is a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. She earned a graduate certificate in criminal justice from the University of Virginia. She also received training at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

Jackson’s selection of Chief Hooper comes in the wake of a community engagement initiative launched during the City’s search for a new police chief. In February, the City held two days of community input meetings to get feedback from citizens as well as Asheville Police Department employees. That input was used to develop a profile reflecting the core competencies, professional characteristics and traits, education, experience and other factors people wanted in a new police chief. Earlier this month, the public and police department employees were invited to meet the four finalists for the job, to hear presentations by them and then offer feedback to City of Asheville executive management. Finally, the process concluded with in-depth interviews between the city manager and the finalists.



Big Al May 31, 2015 - 10:08 pm

I support this choice. I visted Alexandria 2 years ago and my first reaction was “this is just like Asheville without the mountains”. I hope her experience with Vice Narcotics will prove a mental bulwark against Asheville’s self-delusion as some sort of sanctuary city for pot heads.

moribound June 2, 2015 - 7:48 pm


Big Al June 4, 2015 - 11:28 pm

dirty hippie.

Matt May 30, 2015 - 6:26 pm

Best of luck to her and I’m curious to see how things go.

NFB May 29, 2015 - 3:08 pm

Good luck to her in finding a pace to live she can afford.

Harry May 29, 2015 - 5:40 pm

Salary is in excess of $100k per year. I don’t think she’ll have to take up residence at Hillcrest.

Barry Summers May 30, 2015 - 8:50 pm

According to the AC-T, the current interim Chief is getting $145,000, so it will be at least that.

Enough to rent one of those new ‘workforce housing’ 1-bedroom apartments they’re sticking in the shadow of the Aloft Hotel.

Harry May 30, 2015 - 10:27 pm

Ah yes. Workforce housing indeed. I think the new chief will be very comfortable. And if she can fix the problems in the department, she deserves every penny.

FDR May 29, 2015 - 1:36 pm

A great fit for a great city. I hope she cleans up down town.

moribound May 29, 2015 - 5:23 pm

i hope she doesn’t

Harry May 29, 2015 - 5:51 pm

As long as Asheville has a mayor and bozo’s on City Council who like downtown just the way it is, you will continue to enjoy homeless and transient panhandlers, drunken “buskers”, and the scent of fresh urine on downtown streets. The police chief will do as she’s told.

chris May 29, 2015 - 10:05 pm

…you will continue to enjoy homeless and transient panhandlers, drunken “buskers”, and the scent of fresh urine on downtown streets…

But enough about the tourists.

hauntedheadnc May 30, 2015 - 12:06 am

Harry, what exactly is your vision for downtown? In your perfect Asheville, how would things look there, what kind of people would be there, and how would they look?

I ask because sometimes I get the feeling, whenever someone gets het up about the state of downtown Asheville, that that person really won’t be content until the streets are filled with men in suits and hats, and ladies in hats and gloves the way things were in the 50’s.

Broadway Barney June 2, 2015 - 2:30 pm

Not to get off on an entirely different rant, but if you want to blame anyone for the homeless problem in Asheville (or anywhere else in NC), don’t blame anyone who has ever been on City Council. Blame the architects of the Mental Health Reform Bill … former Sen. Steve Metcalf (D), Rep. Verla Insko (R) and every member of the NC Legislature that supported it. The BLAME lies squarely at their feet.

Barry Summers May 29, 2015 - 1:10 pm

Welcome to Asheville, Chief Hooper. It’s never boring here…

RobotDanceMonkey1975 May 29, 2015 - 12:24 pm

Maybe she’s the one that set off those “2 a.m. fireworks” downtown last night…celebertin’ her new job.

moribound May 29, 2015 - 12:18 pm

here comes trouble…

hauntedheadnc May 30, 2015 - 12:02 am

Only if you make trouble, I’ll wager. She looks like she could stomp you into the ground, so I’d also advise you not to make trouble in the first place.

moribound May 31, 2015 - 11:50 am

straight from the gestapos mouth

hauntedheadnc May 31, 2015 - 5:42 pm

I know, right? It’s just plain cray-cray to think we might actually *need* the police or anything. I mean, it’s not like anyone every deliberately tries to starve a child to death, or rents their toddler out to a buddy for sexy fun times, or shows porn to a seven year old girl.

(I’ve seen all those things on my job, and I’d much prefer to let the police handle it rather than do it myself, because my solution would be much messier than the court system’s solution.)

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