“I want to thank the city manager (Janice Casteel) and the assistant city manager (Melinda Carroll) for having faith in me,” Bishop said.
Members of the Cleveland City Council also took time to congratulate the former captain on his new position.
“I think the department is in good hands,” Councilman At-Large Richard Banks said.
Councilman Dale Hughes said Bishop has the right experience and training for his new job.
“I appreciate the appointment of Chief Bishop. ... He is highly qualified for this,” Hughes said.
The councilman said Bishop has been recognized for his service through awards during his career. These include Detective of the Year, Officer of the Year and Supervisor of the Year.
Bradley County Sheriff Jim Ruth and Chief Deputy Wayne Bird were in the audience for the ceremony.
“I don’t think you could have made a better choice. He is respected by our department and others,” Ruth said of Bishop after Mayor Tom Rowland asked if he would like to make a comment.
Earlier in the day Bishop attended his first city strategic planning meeting as chief.
Bishop presented a short video on technology he would like to purchase for the department. The technology would allow patrol officers to issue tickets using their smartphone and a small printer. Bishop said some of the officers already had smartphones but 60 more would need to be purchased if the technology was used. This equipment cost was included in the $82,000 estimate.
“The Watson Field Reporting — it is basically a new way of issuing citations, where everything is done electronically on the scene,” Bishop said. “They would be able to scan the driver’s license and it would give them all of the information that they needed for the citation. It would also run them a local records check to see if they had any outstanding warrants.
“It would reduce time as far as issuing the citations for moving violations. It could also be used for issuing parking citations downtown,” Bishop said.
The technology also has the capability of allowing officers to complete field reports. However, since crash reports diagrams are not included in the program yet, Bishop said it would only be used for ticketing when first implemented.
“It would save money also on the paper costs,” Bishop said.
Capt. Dennis Maddox said the Watson Field Reporting could also eliminate the need for laptops in patrol cars in the future. Maddox said the technology was not to that point yet. He felt that eventually it will get to that point. Johnson City Police Department has already eliminated laptops in patrol cars using this program.
“It will probably reduce the time of our officers writing a citation [by] two-thirds, probably,” Maddox said.
The Council voted to approve the new technology, contingent on Casteel finding the needed funding in the budget.
Participating in a program that would allow citizens to access accident reports electronically was also suggested during the planning session.
“This program doesn’t cost the city any money,” Bishop said.
To access the reports online there would be a $10 fee. A portion of this, $4, would come back to the city. Reports would still be available for free at the Cleveland Police Department.
“This is something that is being used across the state to provide convenience to citizens and insurance companies,” Casteel said.
She suggested that the Cleveland City Council approve using the electronic database. The Council approved having Casteel prepare the necessary paperwork for the next meeting.