SERVING LAKE TANSI WITH HONOR AND RESPECT
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LAKE TANSI POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Lake Tansi Police Department is a full service law enforcement agency serving the residents of Lake Tansi. The department has 6 full time officers, 1 commissioned reserve officer and two auxiliary officers. The officers of the department are fully commissioned law enforcement officers. The department is empowered as law enforcement by legislation that is specific to resorts and land management companies.
The Lake Tansi Police Department has been in existence in different forms going back to the 1970s. The department originally operated with very few officers as private security with very limited law enforcement power through an agreement with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department. Under this agreement, the Sheriff granted the officers a Special Deputy card and dictated what police powers they could have. In 1981 Mike Steinmann was appointed as Chief over the Department. Through his leadership, it grew and began to serve a role that was much more than private security. Steinmann soon began to work closely with then Senator Anna Belle O'Brien to pen legislation that was passed into law. This legislation granted departments such as ours that were employed by resorts exemption from the private security laws. This enabled the officers to have more law enforcement power through their Special Deputy status. Steinmann then built the Department into an organization that the Lake Tansi community benefited from greatly. The Department provided most law enforcement for the resort as well as provided security for all Lake Tansi Property Owner's Association property. The Department also provided many extra services from leading Ambulances to residences to keeping watch on homes while the owners were away to assisting people with dead car battery boosts and more. Early in Steinmann's time here he with the help of others lead the way to raise funds to construct the building at 2849 Dunbar Road that now houses the Cumberland County Volunteer Fire Department, Cumberland County Emergency Medical Service as well as this Department. Steinmann Built the Department from it's limited start to a force of seven full time officers as well as several auxiliary officers. He served as Chief until 1994. His contribution has had and will continue to have a positive effect on the people of the Lake Tansi community.
There have been four men that have served as Chief since Steinmann and they all have made changes to continue the work that he started. The legal climate in Law Enforcement has steadily changed over the years and liability dictated that a change needed to be made in how departments such as ours were authorized and empowered. In 2006, new legislation was penned and passed that established our department as independent law enforcement. It established the position of “Private Special Deputy” and empowered the Department to provide all law enforcement for the resort. The Department still works closely in cooperation with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department but no longer works under the Sheriff's supervision. Under the new legislation, the officers all are required to meet all standards and guidelines set forth by the Police Officer Standards and Training Commission. They receive all training required for police officers in the state of Tennessee.
In 2018, under new leadership once again, changes were made in the Department name, patrol vehicle markings and the officer's uniforms. These changes were in order to more closely reflect the changes in duty and authority established by the legislation form 2006. The name of the Department was changed from Lake Tansi Security to the Lake Tansi Police Department. New badges were obtained and new insignia and marking were applied to the patrol cars. The new name reflects that the Department is a fully empowered law enforcement agency to protect the community as well enforce all state laws and investigate criminal activity in Lake Tansi.