Tim Christol, Red Bank Chief of Police, nominated Detective Michael Ray for the Optimist’s Respect for Law Award:
“Detective Ray has been a member of the Red Bank P.D. for the past ten years. He began in the Patrol and Traffic Divisions as an officer, then was promoted to supervisor. He moved to the Criminal Investigations Division three and one-half years ago. He has been instrumental in investigating and solving numerous violent felony cases as well as crimes against property.
In the past year, he resolved an Aggravated Statutory Rape/Human Trafficking case against two adults involving two juvenile victims who were found to be escapees from a facility in Georgia. In addition to that high-profile case, he was involved in the following felony cases: a D.U.I. stop resulting in the arrest of a suspect involved in three armed robberies of drug stores in Red Bank and Chattanooga; a Rape and Kidnapping case that resulted in two people charged with Aggravated Rape and Attempted Murder; as well as a shooting in which two people are charged with two counts each of Attempted Murder and Especially Aggravated Assault. All of these cases were interspersed among various other assigned cases.
Detective Ray has previously been recognized for his work by The Partnership for Families, Children and Adults (the agency housing the family crisis, violence and rape crisis center for Hamilton County) as one of their officers of the year. Caroline Huffaker, a case manager at the Partnership, emphasized his ability to “treat each victim with dignity and respect” and that it is relationships such as this “that serve as proof that law enforcement and advocates can work collaboratively to provide quality service to our communities.”
Chief of Police Christol emphasized that Detective Ray embodies the values and professionalism expected of all law enforcement officers. "He is a man of strong Christian beliefs and family values as he works daily to meet his department’s mission and he holds himself to the highest standards. I am proud to make this nomination and believe that he exemplifies an officer worthy of this recognition."
The Optimist Club’s “Respect for Law Program” was initiated in 1965 by Past Optimist International President Carl Bowen and former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. The program was adopted locally because of the club’s belief that it is important for our community to recognize the many positive attributes of local law enforcement personnel who serve and protect the citizens of Chattanooga and Hamilton County.
Ms. Nena Powell, president of the Scenic Chattanooga Optimist Club, stated “The Scenic Chattanooga Optimist Club is proud to be a long-time participant in the Optimist’s annual Respect for Law Program. As a community, we are deeply indebted to those who choose a career of service in law enforcement. These men and women serve as the frontline of protection for all of us, and as a civic club, we are proud to honor them.”
Gary Behler, juvenile court clerk for Hamilton County and chairman of the Scenic Chattanooga Optimist Club Respect for Law Program said, “It has been my honor and privilege to serve as chairman of the Respect for Law Program for the past fifteen years. For the first time, with this year’s award, we are honoring a law enforcement officer from one of our neighboring municipalities. We are excited to extend this award to a member of the Red Bank Police Department.”