The U.S. Senate has confirmed Tennessee State University graduate Louise Kelton to become U.S. Marshal for Middle District of Tennessee.
President Barak Obama nominated Kelton, the longtime Deputy Chief of the Nashville Metro Police, for the post in February. She is the first African American to hold the post in the state and only the second in the nation.
The 57-year-old law enforcement veteran graduated Summa Cum Laude from TSU in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She also holds a master’s degree in ‘public service management’ from Cumberland University.
Kelton, who declined an interview until her transition is complete, lauded the Metro Police for having “dedicated, talented and caring” men and women.
“I will miss the daily interaction with them once I take my oath of office and move to the federal building,” she said.
Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson praised Kelton for her “extraordinary leadership” at the Field Operations Bureau, and before that the North Precinct, where she was the commander from 2004 until her appointment by President Obama.
“While I am very pleased Louise Kelton has become our new U.S. Marshal, I am personally saddened that she has left our department,” Chief Anderson said. “She truly dedicated her life to the success of this police department and epitomizes the definition of public servant. She has been my greatest supporter and my greatest critic. I will miss both.”
New TSU President Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover called Kelton a “great example of TSU’s excellence.”
“Kelton’s appointment is an accomplishment of which we can all be proud, as she steps into her new role as Middle Tennessee’s U.S. Marshal,” said Dr. Glover. “Furthermore, she is a product of our great institution, exhibiting the character, professionalism, and knowledge that faculty and staff equip our students with preparing them to pursue and obtain optimal careers and advancement.”
Kelton joined the Metro Police Department in 1980 as an officer trainee. She worked her way from officer to commander of Metro’s North Precinct in 2004. Four years later, she became deputy chief.
As the new U.S. Marshal for Tennessee’s Middle District, Kelton will take over from Denny King, who has held the position since 2002.