Doug Goff named new police chief
By Sparta Live | June 10, 2019 8:56 am
By Rachel Auberger
Doug Goff, who has 21 years of experience with law enforcement in White County, will assume the title and duties of chief of police for the City of Sparta, on Sept. 1.
Goff said he talked with his family and prayed hard before he applied for the position. He hopes to maintain the high level of integrity that already exists within the department, as well as within the community, when he begins his tenure as chief.
“Based on the level of confidence the city aldermen had in me when they chose me for this position, I will make the best decisions I can for this department,” Goff said.
Goff, who began his career in law enforcement as a reserve officer for the White County Sheriff Department, in 1998, knows the job he is taking on is not going to be an easy one and that he has some big shoes to fill.
“I don’t have enough words to describe how much I appreciate Chief [Jeff] Guth and all he has done with this department over his years here,” Goff said. “I have learned a lot from him. I’m still learning from him. I wish I could possess just a thimble full of the knowledge he has.”
Goff said Guth is helping him learn about the daily operations and the technical side of the job, and he looks for there to be a smooth transition on Sept. 1.
In 2001, Goff, who worked as reserve officer for several years while running another business in Cookeville, decided it was time for a career change and attended the police academy to become a full-time officer. After completing his time at the academy, he took a position as the student resource officer at White County High School.
“When school was out, I would work the roads, serve papers, serve warrants,” Goff said. “I did a little bit of everything.”
After five years as the high school’s SRO and having received the rank of sergeant, he resigned from the position to run for sheriff. Goff, who won his party’s primary but lost the general election, in 2006, then applied for a position with the city police department.
In September 2006, Goff began work as a night-shift patrolman for the city where he worked diligently to again obtain the rank of sergeant before applying for and becoming an investigator, in 2015. Along with being the department’s investigator, Goff also maintains the Sex Offender Registry for the City of Sparta and is certified in ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) Training and has led several classes for schools, churches, and businesses in the community on how to handle an active shooter situation.
Goff, who is also a minister, said he takes pride in his work and his accomplishments, but his biggest blessing by far is his family and the support they give him.
“I love this job, but my family – they are my true accomplishment,” he said.
He also said he has the utmost respect for all of the officers in the department but knows that one of the first decisions he has to make as chief will be one of the toughest: to choose his replacement as investigator.
“It’s not going to be an easy decision, but it is one I will have to make,” he said. “I will have to look at all of the required qualifications and then see who is the best fit for the job. It’s not going to be easy.”
Goff, who presented the board with a three-year plan when he applied for the position of police chief, said his number one priority will be training.
“Obviously, my main priority will be to get these guys home safe every night, but right now, along with that, is making sure each officer has the training and the tools they need to make that happen,” said Goff.
He said he hopes every person within the department will come to him, not only with their problems, but with the solutions they see are needed to address concerns they may have.
“There is a high level of integrity in this department and a great respect for each other,” Goff said. “I hope to keep that. I want the guys here to know they can come to me. I want to know what they think we can do to solve problems that come up. I value their input.”
Goff said while he feels there will be a smooth transition when he takes over the leadership of the department, he knows he still has a lot to learn in the next few months.
“Chief Guth should be highly commended for all he has done with this department,” Goff said. “And, until Sept. 1st, he is still the chief.”