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Historic photo of TVA Police

TVA Police: A History of Service, Integrity and Excellence

Two weeks after the initial Tennessee Valley Authority Board meeting on June 16, 1933, the first uniformed property protection force, consisting of about a dozen people, was established to provide police and fire protection at the two nitrate plants located at Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Changing with the Times

Although the primary duties of Public Safety Service have always been to act as TVA's police, fire protection, and host to millions of visitors, other miscellaneous jobs have varied with changing times and needs. Responsibilities in the 1930s included the operation of dormitories and many routine construction camp management functions. With the onset of World War II in the 1940s, the organization changed itself almost overnight from a visitor’s reception and peacetime law enforcement staff into an efficient protective force capable of defending against sabotage.

Post-war growth in the 1950s saw acceleration of such programs as the driver training and testing program and emergency protection testing. As TVA focused on recreation growth in the 1960s, new public use areas led to an extension of patrol areas. The generation of nuclear power from Browns Ferry in the 1970s added unprecedented coordination with an external agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

TVA Police Today

One of the biggest transformations in the history of TVA Police occurred on Sept. 12, 1995. TVA commissioned 125 federal police officers. This is the TVA Police force today. These officers are charged with protecting employees at all TVA sites, as well as the public and TVA property. They maintain law and order on all property under the care and control of TVA, and they have the authorization to carry firearms, seek and execute arrests or search warrants, and conduct investigations. Additional corporate responsibilities of the TVA Police organization included emergency management, risk assessments, access control and nonnuclear personnel suitability and clearances.

Serving the people of the Tennessee Valley region to improve the quality of life is TVA’s overarching mission. Proudly representing this mission of service by keeping us safe are the TVA Police.

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