Commissioner Bill Gibbons, the former District Attorney General for Shelby County, made the announcement, along with Godwin, at a Wednesday afternoon press conference at the Criminal Justice Center.
A simultaneously issued press release from the Department of Safety and Homeland Security included this statement from Governor Bill Haslam: “Director Godwin brings a high level of law enforcement and leadership experience to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. His focus on data-driven policing has received international acclaim and under his leadership, Memphis has made great strides in crime reduction. I’m excited he’s joining the already high quality team in place at the department.”
Godwin was appointed police director in 2004 by former Mayor Willie Herenton and is best known for his development of the Blue C.R.U.S.H. program (for Crime Reduction Using Statistical Hiustory). Significant decreases in the crime rate were registered under Godwin’s tenure.
Most recently, Godwin was the center of a prolonged controversy over whether his enrollment in the city’s Deferred Retirement Optional Plan (DROP) three years ago precluded his rehiring when his commitment to retire became official in April. Both Godwin and Mayor A C Wharton wished the relationship to continue, but the director ultimately opted to let his retirement become official and final on April 15. He will assume his duties with the Department of Safety and Homeland Security on April 18.