Brooklyn Sawyers Belk Tapped as KPD Deputy Chief of Professional Standards

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Brooklyn Sawyers Belk Tapped as KPD Deputy Chief of Professional Standards

Posted: 02/17/2023
Brooklyn Sawyers BelkUniversity of Tennessee law professor and former federal prosecutor Brooklyn Sawyers Belk has been appointed as the Knoxville Police Department’s first-ever Deputy Chief of Professional Standards.  
In late 2022, Chief Noel initiated the process of creating the Deputy Chief of Professional Standards position, which did not previously exist at the KPD. The position was approved by Knoxville City Council in two successive readings in January and the Civil Service Merit Board on February 8, 2023.  
In her role as the Deputy Chief of Professional Standards, Belk will primarily be responsible for reviewing and evaluating the KPD’s policies, practices, procedures and training to ensure those are consistent with nationwide best practices.  
“Brooklyn is a perfect fit for this role,” Chief Paul Noel said. “Her vast array of experience and deep knowledge of constitutional law will help her be successful and make her an invaluable member of our department and Command Staff. She is a uniquely qualified leader with national experience and will serve the city well. I am excited to bring Brooklyn into the fold as we continue working towards making our department the best it can be.” 
“Brooklyn Belk is an incredible addition to the City,” said Mayor Indya Kincannon. “Her extensive law background, her time with the Department of Justice, and her proven track record as a diversity and inclusion officer make Belk the ideal candidate to help continue the Knoxville Police Department’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and equitable policies. I look forward to having her insight and expertise at KPD.” 
Belk is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence. She earned a Master of Art in History from East Tennessee State University, and received a Bachelor of Arts from Emory and Henry College.  
Belk boasts a wealth of criminal justice legal experience. She is a visiting criminal and constitutional law professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, serves on two university alumni boards, and has been adjunct professor of the year twice. Previously, Belk was a law firm partner and chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer at Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial, and most recently in-house counsel for a technology company working with law enforcement nationally.    
Belk also served as a federal prosecutor for the United States Department of Justice from 2009 to 2018, including in East and Middle Tennessee. Additionally, Belk has published numerous articles in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Law, Thomas Reuters Westlaw, Law360, and Dicta. She has also delivered regional and national training and continuing education for law enforcement, attorneys, and judges. 
“Thank you Mayor Kincannon and Chief Noel for this appointment,” Belk said. “I am excited to continue my work with law enforcement as the first person to serve in this new position. I bring varied experience—from academia to the practice of law—garnered over nearly 20 years. I will leverage that depth and breadth of experience to be an effective member of KPD’s executive leadership team. I look forward to working with Chief Noel and the entire KPD team as we endeavor to serve Knoxville’s diverse and ever-changing community.” 
Belk and her husband, Tennessee Valley Authority In-House Counsel Lamont Belk, have three children.  

Belk’s first official day on the job will be Monday, February 20, 2023.   

Announcement of Chief Brooklyn Sawyers Belk
Press conference announcement of Brooklyn Sawyers Belk as the new Deputy Chief of Professional Standards for KPD.