City Manager Mark Watson Appoints James T. Akagi as Oak Ridge Police Chief

City Manager Mark Watson announced today the selection of Mr. James T. Akagi, Assistant Special Agent of the Oklahoma City District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, as the next Police Chief for the City of Oak Ridge. Mr. Akagi brings 28 years of law enforcement experience with him as he begins his responsibility as Oak Ridge’s chief law enforcement officer.

Mr. Akagi was selected from among 117 applicants for the position from across the nation. Five finalists were brought to Oak Ridge last week for a series of interviews and tours of the City.

A graduate of Wichita State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Administration of Justice, Mr. Akagi began his career as a police officer in the Lawrence, Kansas Police Department. He graduated from DEA Basic Agent Training in 1986, and has been stationed at a number of national and international offices, including Los Angeles, Dallas, and Santo Domingo. In addition, Mr. Akagi served for two years as an Inspector in the Office of Professional Responsibility at DEA Headquarters.

Mr. Akagi was genuinely pleased with his selection as Police Chief, as it occurred on his anniversary of service with the DEA. He looks forward to becoming part of the Oak Ridge Department and will be joining the department on July 11, 2011.

Mark Watson, City Manager stated “I am extremely proud of this selection, which was one of the most difficult I have made in my 30 years of public service. Each finalist was a leader in their field. However, Mr. Akagi best met my goals of openness, responsiveness, innovation, communication and decisiveness for the Oak Ridge organization. Mr. Akagi brings a wealth of experience and knowledge within the federal and regional law enforcement agencies, and will make a long range impact on public safety in Oak Ridge.”

Mr. Akagi will be the leader of a law enforcement department of 61 sworn personnel and 17 civilians with an operating budget of approximately six million dollars. Mr. Akagi’s salary will be $110,000 annually.

News media contact: Amy Fitzgerald (865) 425-3554 or afitzgerald@oakridgetn.gov.