Tennessee Highway Patrol Honors 41 Fallen State Troopers

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Colonel Tracy Trott led a special memorial service Friday to honor Tennessee state troopers and other law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. In observance of National Police Week, the THP’s annual Memorial Service was held at the department’s headquarters in Nashville.

Since the establishment of the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 1929, 41 troopers have died in the line of duty. 

Trooper Ronnie Hale died on July 6, 2012 in while on duty in White County in the Cookeville District. Trooper Hale suffered a heart attack in his patrol car. Trooper Hale died while being transported to the hospital by emergency medical personnel.

Trooper Michael Slagle died Jan. 25, while on duty in Knox County in the Knoxville District.  Trooper Slagle died from what appears to have been natural causes after he crashed on an icy road. He was discovered unresponsive and was unable to be revived at the scene.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 40 officers have died in the line of duty this year, including Trooper Slagle from Tennessee.

“These men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice. They are in our thoughts and prayers every day. We can never repay their families for their service to our state and to our country, but we can honor them and promise to never forget their sacrifice,” Commissioner Gibbons said.

Major General Terry M. "Max" Haston, Tennessee’s Adjunct General, delivered the keynote address. General Haston, oversees the state’s Department of Military, including the Tennessee National Guard and the Tennessee Air National Guard. 

“From the start, there has always been a kindred spirit between the Military Department and the State Troopers, as both our members work closely together in numerous scenarios.  We have the same mission, to serve and protect the citizens of the state of Tennessee,” General Haston said.

The ceremony featured several time-honored traditions including the roll call of all 41 fallen troopers.  Commissioner Gibbons, Deputy Commissioner Larry Godwin and Colonel Trott also rested three wreaths in front of the THP memorial monument outside the department’s headquarters. Other highlights included the presentation of colors by the Tennessee Highway Patrol Honor Guard, a rifle salute and flyover by THP’s Special Operations Unit, the playing of “Taps” by Trooper James Knipper on trumpet, and “Amazing Grace” performed on the bagpipe by Todd Boswell.

“We have added two more names to the THP memorial this year.  These public servants, and the troopers who have passed before them, leave a legacy of bravery and honor in the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Each year we remember their service and their sacrifice, and that makes us all want to be better troopers,” Colonel Trott said

Earlier this week, Colonel Trott took part in the national ceremonies marking National Police Week in Washington, D.C. 

Dalton Police Department Welcomes New Officer, Tyler Hammontree

The Dalton Police Department welcomed a new officer to the ranks on Tuesday morning when the Public Safety Commission voted unanimously to confirm the appointment of Officer Tyler Hammontree. Officer Hammontree is a 2003 graduate of Northwest Whitfield High School. He graduated from Shorter College in Rome with a bachelor’s degree in 2008. Officer Hammontree started his law ... (click for more)

Reflections Gallery Has Artist Reception Nov. 3

Reflections Gallery will host an open house and artist reception on Thursday, Nov. 3, from 5-7 p.m.  The artists, Don Hill Ellyn Bivin and Peggy Creswell will be at the reception.  The reception is free and open to the public, with wine and hors d'oeuvres to enjoy while browsing. Reflections Gallery is at 6922 Lee Hwy.  (click for more)

Cold Case Unit Makes Arrest In Murders Of Brothers In Brainerd Almost 20 Years Ago; Detectives Say Brainerd Jeweler Rick Davis Tied To Incident

The Cold Case Unit set up by District Attorney Neal Pinkston has made an arrest in the murders of two brothers in Brainerd almost 20 years ago. The Hamilton County Grand Jury on Monday indicted 52-year old Christopher Jeffre Johnson on two counts of first-degree murder in the January 1997 deaths of Sean and Donny Goetcheus. The 25-year old Sean Goetcheus and his ... (click for more)

Gang Member, 22, Shot In The Arm On Wilcox Boulevard Early Tuesday Morning

A 22-year-old man was shot in the arm in the 1800 block of Wilcox Boulevard early Tuesday morning. Just after midnight, Chattanooga Police responded to a report of shots fired. Upon arrival, police located Jakobi Buthelezi Johnson suffering from a very minor, single gunshot wound. Hamilton County EMS transported the victim to a local hospital for treatment. The victim ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What Southerners Sing

Barry Norris plays the organ at Birmingham’s East Lake United Methodist Church and two days ago the church hosted what we used to call “A Singing on the Grounds.” Today it is called a “Hymnfest” and, believe it or not, it is has to be just as fun today as it was 100 years ago when our forefathers tied their horse and wagon to a tree. It just so happens I know a little bit about ... (click for more)