There ought to be some budget savings with a new Knoxville police chief. His pay may be more in line with other department heads, although Mayor Daniel Brown and new Chief David Rausch have yet to work out just how much of a raise the former deputy chief will get from his current $73,350.
Retiring Police Chief Sterling Owen has been the second highest paid city employee at $153,222 in base pay plus some other allowances. Fire Chief Stanley Sharp, by contrast, has a base pay of $85,800, plus an expense allowance. It is not unusual for the police chief to make more than the fire chief, but $67,000 more? Numbers fluctuate, but the police department has about 500 employees; the city has just over 300 fire fighters.
The highest paid city employee runs the city IT department—Janet Wright makes $153,890.
Owen, a former FBI agent, will retire in March, and the mayor promoted Rausch from within the department to be his replacement. A city spokesman said the salary for Rausch will be worked out within a couple of weeks, but we don't think it's likely to be an $80,000 pay raise.