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Middlebrook appointed to new cabinet level position: Director of Community Safety
August 31, 2021

KNOXVILLE - Mayor Indya Kincannon has appointed LaKenya Middlebrook as the City’s first-ever Director of Community Safety.

This new cabinet-level position will oversee and coordinate all aspects of community safety, increasing collaboration between the Mayor, her leadership team, KPD, KFD and other community partners who are on the ground to address public safety issues in Knoxville.

“LaKenya Middlebrook is an effective and passionate leader who works tirelessly for justice in all situations,” Mayor Kincannon said. “She has established relationships with key partners that will help us build out sustainable violence interruption programs and other solutions that will work best in our city.”

Middlebrook will transition from her role as the Executive Director of the City’s Police Advisory & Review Committee to Director of Community Safety in early September.

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen for such a critical role in our City,” Middlebrook said. “As part of the internal task force working on violence prevention and interruption, I have learned a lot about evidence-based strategies in cities throughout the country and methods we can successfully implement here in Knoxville.

"Our entire community is impacted by increases in violence, our neighbors are hurting, and we will do everything we can to prevent and reduce violence here."

As Community Safety Director, Middlebrook will have bi-weekly meetings with Mayor Kincannon and Chief Thomas, regularly scheduled meetings with the full cabinet, work closely with the City’s Community Empowerment Department and coordinate resources with others on the front lines working to keep our neighborhoods safe.

Middlebrook was appointed to lead PARC in June of 2020.

Prior to that, Middlebrook earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Kentucky in 2002 and her law degree from the University of Tennessee in 2006.

She worked in private practice as an attorney from 2008 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2020. In between, she served as director of the YWCA Phyllis Wheatley Center.

Middlebrook serves on the Knox County Foster Care Review Board, the Executive Committee of the Knoxville Branch NAACP, the United Way of Greater Knoxville Board of Directors, and as Mayor Kincannon's representative on the boards of the Knoxville Family Justice Center and East Tennessee History Center.

Mayor Kincannon will appoint a new PARC Director before the next regularly scheduled PARC meeting.

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