Covington's new top cop has big plans to curb crime - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Covington's new top cop has big plans to curb crime

Buddy Lewis did not waste any time hitting the streets Tuesday, ready to listen to the people. Buddy Lewis did not waste any time hitting the streets Tuesday, ready to listen to the people.

(WMC-TV) - Former Tennessee state trooper and longtime Tipton County Sheriff, Buddy Lewis, is taking over the reigns as Covington's new police chief.

The new top cop says residents in Covington are about to see big changes at the department.

Lewis, who spent several years as a Tennessee highway patrolman and 17 years as Tipton County sheriff, hopes to regain people's trust in the police department in the coming months. He already has big plans to help curb violent crime.

Buddy Lewis did not waste any time hitting the streets Tuesday, ready to listen to the people.

"What can we do as a police department to better serve you? What do you need right here, next door, or right down the street?" he asked.

On his first full day as chief, Lewis said he is committed to curbing crime and running gangs out of town. But first, he says those goals require the respect of the people of Covington.

"You can't demand it, you've got to earn it. That's what we're going to do is earn the people's respect and trust," said Lewis.

Many in Covington see the change of command as a good move. For Teresa Mason Smith, the new chief could mean a murderer is finally put behind bars.

"A crime was committed in a small town and nothing's been done about it and no one has communicated with me at all," said Smith.

Smith's son, Darius Heaston, was shot and killed in Frazier Park two years ago.

Covington police arrested a man in the case but later let him go.

The district attorney says police washed down the crime scene before all of the evidence was processed.

Now, Smith hopes Chief Lewis will help to catch the killer.

"I consider the person who does something like this, you're very sick and you shouldn't be allowed to walk around and strike again," added Smith.

Chief Lewis says he plans to visit with Teresa Smith and others in similar situations. He says he wants his department to be an open book and one that is well respected throughout Tipton County and West Tennessee.

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