Retired Metro Police Chief Joe Casey dies at age 96

Metro Police Chief Joe Casey
Metro Police Chief Joe Casey(Metro Nashville Police Department)
Published: Jul. 31, 2022 at 11:57 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Retired Metro Chief of Police Joe Casey died on Sunday morning, the police department announced. He was 96.

Casey died on the morning of his 96th birthday.

Casey served in the police department for nearly 38 years following his appointment as a patrolman in November 1951.

He rose through the ranks and was appointed Acting Chief of Police in November 1973, the permanent Chief in May 1974. Casey retired in July 1989.

Among the literally hundreds of police officers hired during Casey’s tenure was current Chief John Drake, who entered the MNPD Academy in March 1988, and who, like Casey, is a native Nashvillian.

“Chief Casey’s legacy is his dedication to Nashville and law enforcement, his caring concern for the employees of our department, and his effort to make life better for those less fortunate,” Drake said in a statement. “It was Chief Casey who started our annual Christmas Basket Program for the disadvantaged in 1961 by serving two families. This year, approximately 300 households will receive gifts of food and toys on Christmas Eve morning because of the tradition he started.

Retired police chief Joe Casey speaks to those participating in the Metro Police Christmas...
Retired police chief Joe Casey speaks to those participating in the Metro Police Christmas Charities basket giveaway in 2018.(Metro Nashville Police Department)

“Chief Casey had a love for Special Olympics, and personally enlisted the support of Tennessee law enforcement agencies to assist in the program for children and young adults with mental and physical disabilities.

“Chief Casey was my friend. I am grateful to have served with him at the beginning of my career, and I am thankful for his support during my service as Chief.”

Casey served as president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in 1987, and as president of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TACP) from 1976-1982.

The TACP annual bestows the Joe Casey Award to an active or retired chief in recognition of outstanding character and service. Casey delighted in personally presenting the award over the years, but was unable to do so earlier this month at the TACP meeting in Chattanooga due to failing health.

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