McMinnville has a new police chief. Bryan Denton was sworn into office Thursday evening at city hall.
“I’m honored city administrator David Rutherford, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the citizens of McMinnville have placed their confidence in me,” said Denton. “I look forward to serving my hometown at this level.”
Denton, a life-long resident of Warren County, was raised in the Irving College community and graduated from Warren County Senior High in 1979.
A 30-year law enforcement veteran, Denton began his career in 1981 at the Warren County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Billy Delaney. In 1982, he accepted a position as patrolman with McMinnville Police Department. He attended Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1983, where he ranked No. 1 in a class of 72 trainees.
From there, Denton rose through the ranks serving as shift sergeant, lieutenant detective, captain, major, deputy chief and briefly served as interim chief after the resignation of Charlie Sewell. His duties have included grant writer and manager, departmental training officer, division commander, and accreditation manager.
“I have spent my adult life serving this community professionally and personally,” said Denton. “I have a vested interest that McMinnville be a safe place to call home. I will do my best to see that the citizens of McMinnville have the high degree of police service they expect and deserve.”
Among other career achievements, Denton is a 2008 graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy.
McMinnville Mayor Norman Rone says Denton is a tremendous asset.
“Bryan has risen through the ranks and has all the training needed,” Rone said. “He’s well qualified and we are happy to have him. Charlie did a fine job in the department and I feel Bryan will continue that. We were extremely lucky to have someone within the department who can step up and take over.”
Denton says his predecessor left the department in fine shape. While there are a few changes to be made, none will be drastic.
“My plan is to keep the course the department is on, making revisions when necessary that will keep the police department fine tuned,” Denton said. “There will be a few things done differently but nothing drastic.”
One area in particular he would like to continue to strengthen is the working relationship between local agencies.
“The key to successful law enforcement is cooperation between different agencies, especially in a community of this size,” Denton said. “I already have a close, successful working relationship with Sheriff Jackie Matheney, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the district attorney’s office, which I expect to grow and solidify.”
Denton also served as county commissioner for Warren County’s 6th District for a decade, from 1998 to 2008. He is married to the former Sharon Woodlee.