CHIEF INSPECTOR ERIC LEPPANEN
Eric Leppanen is currently assigned as the Chief Inspector over Staff Support and Training for the Bartlett Police Department.
He is a lifelong resident of the City of Bartlett and a 1986 graduate of Bartlett High School. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1990, he joined the police department as a reserve police officer.
The following year he was hired as a full-time officer and was assigned to the patrol division. During this time, he was a field training officer, a sniper with the Special Response Team (SWAT), and a member of the Traffic Unit. While on the Traffic Unit, he served as an accident reconstructionist and assisted the Traffic Unit commander with the management of the unit and as an instructor in several accident investigation training courses.
After being promoted to detective, he was assigned to general investigations and as a manager for the property room. He later moved to the Narcotics Unit, was a member of the West Tennessee Violent Crime and Drug Task Force (DTF), and was a clandestine lab investigator.
As a lieutenant, he served as a shift supervisor on both morning and afternoon shifts and worked as the Traffic Unit Captain. He continued as an instructor in traffic investigations, radar\lidar, and S.T.O.P.S. and as the department's field training officer program manager. He attended Governor's Highway Safety Office (G.H.S.O.) network meetings and assisted in setting up department traffic safety initiatives. He created the department's first entry into the G.H.S.O. Law Enforcement Challenge, taking first place.
He supervised the department's Narcotics Unit working on independent drug investigations as well as joint operations with the Drug Enforcement Administration, DTF, Memphis Organized Crime, and Shelby County Narcotics Unit.
He was promoted to Captain in 2020 and, in addition to his administrative duties, directed the U.A.S. unit, is an FAA 107 Remote Pilot, formed the video production unit, was the reserve officer coordinator, and the city's radio system manager and the field training officer director.
During his 30-year career, Chief Inspector Leppanen has received numerous recognitions and awards, including officer of the month on several occasions and the department's 2020 distinguished employee award.