Wray hired to oversee transportation security in Tenn.

Wednesday, Apr. 9, 2008 8:35 pm

Credit: News & Record file
Former Greensboro police chief David Wray
Former Greensboro Police Chief David Wray has a new job working for the Transportation Security Administration in Tennessee.

Wray started Sunday as the new Federal Security Director for Eastern Tennessee — overseeing all transportation security including air, rail and maritime travel in the area.

"It's a great opportunity and I am pleased to be serving my country with the TSA," Wray said in a phone interview from his office in Alcoa Tenn., near Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport. "I am excited about the position."

Wray, who became police chief in 2003 after 22 years with the department, resigned under pressure in January 2006 following a city probe that alleged misuse of power, favoritism and unfair targeting of black officers in connection with corruption investigations.

Wray has never been charged with a crime.

The allegations nitially became public after a black police lieutenant found a tracker on his patrol vehicle broadened in 2005.

City Manager Mitchell Johnson said he lost trust in Wray after the former chief allegedly misled him about issues including problems with the police academy and the existence of a photo line up of black officers.

The matter led to the departure of Wray's top command staff and resulted in a host of lawsuits against the former chief, the city and sparked Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints by dozens of black officers.

Wray said after his resignation he spent time working with his brothers on an area farm and dealing with issues surrounding his departure.

"Being in a leadership role where there was a potential for conflict, you do what you think is right and you do your best," Wray said.

"I feel like I served my city well, that was my focus then and that's my focus now (to serve the federal government.)"

A TSA spokeswoman said Wray oversees East Tennessee's airports that serve Knoxville, Chattanooga and the Tri-Cities, along with numerous other smaller airports in the area.

"As Federal Security Director, he is the top person in the area (for TSA)," said Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokeswoman.

"Federal Security Directors are entrusted in making sure all of the airports have a federally compliant security plan. The (position) is also over air, land and sea security for the federal government."

Koshetz said Wray commands all transportation officers, inspectors and anyone else working for TSA in the area, but could not say how many employees he oversees.

Wray said he has no regrets about his time as chief and said he appreciates the support he has been given by many in Greensboro since his resignation, saying "There are a lot of fine people there and there's a lot worth fighting for."

"I would tell people to believe in your community and work toward a strong community. Keep doing what it takes to keep it and make it strong."


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