I’m writing this when Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada has about 38 days left in his post. It will be strange going to visit someone else in that office after seeing him there for the past 15 years.
I can still remember the first time (of very, very many) I interviewed the chief. He came by the office of my former employer after hours to give me the opportunity to get to know him.
At the time, I didn’t know what to expect. His predecessor, Harv Sprafka, recommended him strongly, but some in town had their doubts. Doubts stemmed from his prior job in Boone, but Harv was right on this when I looked into it further. He left Boone because he did the right thing, and not everybody wanted a chief with integrity.
As time went on, we developed a good rapport. I haven’t always agreed with his decisions, but I likely never will agree with law enforcement 100 percent. Especially when it comes to providing case details I believe the public has the right to know.
But that’s my problem, not his.
Losada has never shied away from being himself and being a part of Knoxville. From his extensive collection of model police cars (all modeled after real-life vehicles) to his cooking skills to his willingness to drive around in an old cop car squirting young people in parades, he added more color to the department known for blue.
I believe he has left a strong, positive mark on the KPD – one that will be difficult for his successor to erase or copy. Every officer in the department now came in under his leadership.
Every January, hopefully, we will continue to have the City’s chili cookoff.
Beyond these things, he kept Knoxville as safe as it can be. He was a strong leader in public during difficult times while being a friendly face to everyone of all ages as he walked down the street the rest of the time.
To my knowledge, Dan’s retirement will not mean the end of his time in Knoxville. It will just begin another chapter in the life of a good cop who always gave the department and community his best.
I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to work with him so often, but even more that I’ve had the chance to get to know him over the last 15 years. Enjoy your retirement, my friend, Dan.
Take care of yourself and thank you for reading.