David Rausch was born in Louisville, Kentucky and is the seventh of ten children from a Roman Catholic family. He attended Catholic schools through High School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Louisville in 1986. He began his life of service in the hotel business while in college where he worked as a bellman and eventually the bell captain, where he supervised a staff of ten for a 611 room convention center hotel. Upon graduation from college, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Military Police Corps from 1986 to 1990 where he attained the rank of Sergeant before the end of his enlistment. He then returned to the University of Louisville to work on a Master’s Degree in Justice Administration. He also returned to the hotel business and worked in Corporate Sales. While working on his advanced degree, he was selected to attend the Knoxville Police Department Basic Recruit School in 1993.
During his tenure at the Knoxville Police Department, he has served in the Patrol Division for the majority of his career as a police officer in various roles. He was promoted through the ranks from Officer to Sergeant in 1998, Sergeant to Lieutenant in 2002, Lieutenant to Captain in 2006, Captain to Deputy Chief in 2009, and to Chief of Police in 2011. As a Sergeant, he was the Staff Officer for the Deputy Chief of Patrol, and as a Lieutenant and Captain he served as the Commanding Officer for each of the Patrol Division Districts; ultimately serving as the Patrol Division Commander as Deputy Chief before his selection as Chief of Police.
Chief Rausch is a graduate of the 105th Administrative Officers Course at the Southern Police Institute and received his Master of Science in Justice Administration from the University of Louisville in 2001. He is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations 218th National Academy Class in 2004, the FBI Tennessee Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar in 2008, the Police Executive Research Forum 40th Session of the Senior Management Institute for Police in 2008, the FBI Leadership in Counter Terrorism (LinCT) Course Atlantic Section 2011-2012, the FBI 36th Session of the National Executive Institute in 2013, the United States Secret Service Executive Protection Seminar in 2014, and the United States Army War College Commandant’s National Security Program in 2016.
Chief Rausch is an instructor on various law enforcement topics. He has taught law enforcement and civilian personnel throughout the U.S. He worked with the U.S. Department of State on training Commanders from the Jamaican Constabulary Forces in Kingston, Jamaica on Tactical Responses to Terrorism in 2016. He is an Adjunct Faculty Member of Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee for the College of Professional Studies Criminal Justice Program.
Chief Rausch served on the Knoxville Police Department Special Operations Squad (SWAT Team) from 1997 to 2007.
Chief Rausch is involved with numerous service organizations in the Knoxville community as well as on the State and National level. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley Corporate Board, the UT Institute for Public Service LEIC Board, the Metro Drug Coalition Board, the South College Criminal Justice Community Advisory Board, the Volunteer Ministry Center Board, the Trinity Health Foundation Board, the Change Center of Knoxville Board as Co-chairman, the Chairman’s Club, Leadership Knoxville Board of Directors, and is the Chairman of Youth Leadership Knoxville Advisory Board.
His professional involvement continues as a member of the Family Justice Center Board, the Knox County E-911 Board, the Knoxville Public Safety Foundation Board, the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Executive Board, the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police as a Past President and Chairman of the Legislative Committee, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Midsize Agencies Division as General Chair, and the IACP Executive Board.
He is a valued and respected member of the law enforcement profession and is sought out on the local, state, and federal levels for his expertise and counsel. He is frequently invited to share his knowledge on tough issues that law enforcement face, including handling the homeless and those in mental health crisis, addressing the drug and addiction crisis, police transparency and community relations, criminal justice reform, selection and training of law enforcement officers, at risk youth related engagement, managing major events, domestic and international terrorism, and legislative matters affecting the law enforcement community. He has served on several committees and task forces to assist in addressing these issues.
Chief Rausch has also served as an advisor to legislators on the local, state, and federal level, including the Governor of Tennessee, Congressmen, Senators, and Executive Staff members of the Obama and Trump Presidential administrations. He has helped draft, support, pass, and defeat significant legislation at all levels of government that impact the safety of communities as he is intricately involved in the legislative process as the Legislative Chair for the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.
Chief Rausch is a servant leader and embraces the seven pillars of Servant Leadership. He is a person of character who puts people first, and as a skilled communicator and compassionate collaborator, has keen foresight as a systems thinker that leads with moral authority. He has over thirty five years of experience in service to others, which includes over twenty eight years in law enforcement.