Phil Keith Named to Head DOJ’s COPS Office

Keith, the former police chief of Knoxville, Tn., was expected to be named to head COPS, which the Trump administration wants to downgrade by eliminating it as an independent agency within the Justice Department.

Former Knoxville, Tn., Police Chief Phil Keith has been named director of the U.S. Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office, DOJ announced. Keith also has served as Commissioner of the Tennessee Peace Officers Standard and Training Commission, a project director for the Major Cities Chiefs Association, and a member of two COPS office boards. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called Keith’s experience “second to none” and said DOJ “is committed to backing our state and local law enforcement partners—the men and women that serve on the front lines of the fight against violent crime, the opioid crisis, and criminal organizations.”

Keith is a graduate of East Tennessee State University and from the University of Tennessee. He served in the United States Army Reserves from 1968 to 1974. The Crime Report forecast Keith’s appointment in a story in February on the Trump administration’s plan to downgrade the COPS office.