Commitment, Diligence, Team Work Earns Violent Crimes Unit Special Commendation

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Commitment, Diligence, Team Work Earns Violent Crimes Unit Special Commendation

Posted: 01/16/2019
Violent Crimes UnitKnoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Police Chief Eve Thomas presented a special commendation award to the Violent Crimes Unit.  The unit is being recognized for their tireless commitment and teamwork shown by members of this unit when a major crime investigation is initiated especially when the result of a homicide or rape.  

One such example occurred on May 23, 2018, at about 2:35 pm when patrol officers were dispatched to Windsor Court Apartments located on Cedar Lane to conduct a welfare check in response to a caller informing them that her mother had told her there was a dead body in that apartment.  Unfortunately, upon entering the apartment the officers did find a dead body and called for a violent crimes investigator, forensics, and the ME’s office to respond due to the suspicious nature of the situation.

Investigator Allen Cook was assigned as the lead, and through the assistance of several other investigators – including Preston Whillock, Jeff Day, Tim Riddle and Brandon Wardlaw as well as Sgt. Rodney Patton and Lt. Doug Stiles, the homicide of the, at that time, the still unidentified male victim, was solved.  In the words of one of those investigators, “We all played a role and we all stayed busy almost non-stop for almost 10 hours straight….and it took all of us working different angles of the investigation to solve it as quick as we did.”  

While two of the investigators were working interviewing one suspect, two others were interviewing the second suspect while two additional investigators were in the field interviewing witnesses and chasing leads-including locating weapons that had been used.  Information gained in the field was being immediately relayed back to the interviewing investigators, allowing the questioning to be relevant which ultimately led to a confession by one of the suspects.  Officer Russ Whitfield of the Forensics Unit was just as diligent in his examination of the scene and also contributed to the success of this investigation.  In this instance, the synergy of all the involved officers and investigators and their commitment to giving the victim a voice contributed to the success of the investigation.

Chief Thomas said, “This is but one specific example of the talent and commitment exhibited by those in the Violent Crimes Unit.  Whenever a case comes up, all work in unison to ensure the success of the investigation.  Each investigator is diligent in chasing down leads and adding his/her particular talent (interviewing, technology, callbacks, supervisory guidance, etc.) to aid in any and all investigations.”

“Congratulations on a job well done,” Chief Thomas concluded.