David Kitchens has been named director of Bedford County Emergency Management Agency, succeeding Scott Johnson, who retired last week. Kitchens’ first official day on the job will be Aug. 16.
Kitchens, a resident of Shelbyville, is no stranger to emergency management or Bedford County; since 2018, he’s been a district coordinator for Tennessee Emergency Management Agency serving a five-county area including Bedford County. In that role, he’s supported EMA directors and other district coordinators during incidents and special events; taught courses and helped to serve as a liaison with law enforcement.
Prior to working for TEMA, he was a 26-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department, serving in the Special Operations Division for 23 years. Within that division, he served for nine years in the Emergency Contingency Section, where he was part of the CBRNE (chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological, and/or explosive) unit.
Kitchens is a 1983 graduate of McGavock High School in Nashville and a 1991 graduate of the Metro Nashville Police Academy. He moved to Shelbyville a year and a half ago from Rutherford County.
“We like the area,” he said, “and we like the people.”
“We’re delighted to have David join us,” said County Mayor Chad Graham. “We were fortunate to find a candidate with his experience and background. I know he’ll be able to continue the high standard of emergency preparedness and response that was set by Scott Johnson.”
“I think we have an excellent EMA,” said Kitchens.
Kitchens will arrive just before the start of this year’s Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, an event he’s attended for the last three years in his role with TEMA, providing state support for the emergency preparedness and security operations that BCEMA coordinates each year. He’s done the same for the Webb School Art & Craft Fair in Bell Buckle.
Kitchens’ career has been one of public service, something he says he has a passion for.
“I’m dedicated to doing what I do,” he said.