Department History

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Harpeth Drive Police Station The City of Brentwood was incorporated in 1969, with Emery Pewitt elected as the first mayor. At the time of incorporation, the City of Brentwood had a private subscription Fire and Police Service, with most law enforcement services provided by the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department. In 1970, Mayor Emery Pewitt and City’s two Commissioners, John Sloan Jr. and Bob Robinson, made the decision to provide full-time police service to the City by hiring a Police Chief and establishing the Brentwood Police Department. On February 1, 1971, Howard D. Buttrey was hired as the City’s first Chief of Police. Buttrey had previously worked as an officer with the City of Nashville Police Department, and had been with the Belle Meade Police Department for thirteen years, the last three as Chief of Police when he was hired to establish the Brentwood Police Department.


Chief Buttrey obtained a $40,000.00 grant from the United States Department of Justice’s Law Enforcement Assistance Administration to purchase and equip two patrol cars and radio equipment. Three officers were then hired and the Brentwood Police Department began its full time patrol on April 1, 1971. At that time there was one officer patrolling each of the three shifts.


116 Wilson Pike Circle The Department did not have a communications function when it began and Brentwood officers were dispatched by the City of Berry Hill Police Department, a small department located in south Nashville. In 1972, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department began providing dispatch service for the Department and continued until 1974, at which time the Brentwood Police Department hired it own communications personnel to take calls and dispatch Brentwood officers.

The first police department headquarters opened in 1974 and was located in a small building in the rear of an Exxon station near where Franklin Road and Town Center Way is now located. The headquarters then moved in 1976 to a small building located at the end of Harpeth Drive, which was a dead end at that time. The Department moved again in 1979 to 116 Wilson Pike Circle. The Police Department moved to its current location at 5211 Maryland Way in 1987.

Chief Howard Buttrey retired from BPD in 2000 and Captain Ricky Watson was appointed as Chief of Police. Chief Watson served as Chief until his retirement in 2012. On January 30th, 2012 Jeff Hughes was named the 3rd Chief in the history of the department which now has a total of fifty-eight sworn officers and fifteen civilian personnel.


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The Brentwood Police Department received National Accreditation from The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. in 1989, and was the first agency in the State of Tennessee to be reaccredited. The Department proudly maintains its nationally recognized accredited status, having been reaccredited seven times, most recently in 2014.