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Deputy Commissioner Larry Godwin


In April 2011, Larry Godwin joined the Department of Safety and Homeland Security as Deputy Commissioner. Prior to his appointment, Godwin was a 37-year veteran for the city of Memphis, retiring as the city’s Director of Police Services in the spring of 2011.

Since 2004, Godwin saw the Memphis Police Department receive national certification from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and earn the International Association of Chiefs of Police “Excellence in Technology Award for Interoperable Communications” for implementing the department’s Real Time Crime Center, a 24-hour city-wide video and digital surveillance system. He also partnered with the University of Memphis’ Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice to develop the data-driven Blue C.R.U.S.H.™ (Crime Reduction Using Statistical History) methodology, focusing crime reduction associated with guns, gangs, and drugs.

Godwin joined the Memphis Police Department as a Metro Narcotics Undercover Operations Officer in 1973, shortly after serving a tour of Vietnam in the United States Marine Corps. He rose through the ranks of the Memphis Police Department and was assigned to various roles including Uniform Patrol, Tactical Unit, Training Academy Instructor, Homicide Investigator, Fraud and Document Investigator, Commander of the Crime Response/Bomb Unit, Commander of Special Services, and Deputy Chief overseeing Special Operations, Administrative Services, and Uniform Patrol.

Godwin is a 2008 graduate of the FBI’s National Executive Institute (NEI). He also serves on the board of advisors for the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center. In 2006 he was appointed to the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (POST) by Governor Phil Bredesen.

In 2008, Godwin became a founding board member of the Memphis Police Foundation and served as its first president. He was also elected president of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TACP) in 2006, and currently serves as chairman for the TACP/Tennessee Public Safety Coalition Committee. Godwin also served as the 2006 president of the state-wide Tennessee Public Safety Coalition, a group consisting of district attorney generals, chiefs of police, and sheriffs.

Godwin has earned numerous awards, including the 2005 Veterans of Foreign Wars Officer of the Year, the 2008 Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police President’s Award, the 2009 Rotary Club of Memphis East Bobby Dunavant Award for a non-elected public servant, and the 2010 UNICO Charities Italian American Man of the Year Award. He was recognized again by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police with the TACP’s 2011 President’s Award. Government Technology Magazine selected Godwin in March of 2012 as one of its Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers for his work with the Memphis Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center and Blue CRUSH methodology.

Godwin attended the University of Memphis and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree through Liberty University. He is married to the former Nina Elizabeth Barlow. Together they have two sons, one daughter, two grandsons and one granddaughter.