KPD Awards Commendations to Six Employees, One Unit

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

KPD Awards Commendations to Six Employees, One Unit

Posted: 12/16/2019
The Knoxville Police Department handed out one Employee of the Month Award, one Unit Commendation, one Lifesaving Award and four Officer of the Month Awards during a news conference on Monday, December 16, 2019 at KPD headquarters.

Below are the award winners along with what led to their award presentation. 

Jackie RobertsJackie Roberts – July Employee of the Month 

Jackie Roberts – the case coordinator for the Family Justice Center – was recognized as the July Employee of the Month for showing great initiative and follow through to provide better service for those in need in the community. 

In early June, Roberts, a 17-year veteran of the KPD, traveled to Nashville for training at the brand new Nashville Family Safety Center. She returned from that training opportunity inspired to continue improving the care and attention provided to domestic violence victims here in Knoxville. 

In mid-July, Roberts took that training and made a push for systemic change in how the Family Justice System completes its intake process, reducing the initial navigation process for a victim from around 45 minutes to only 10-15 minutes. That change that was championed by Jackie allowed a victim to get to an advocate with greater speed and efficiency. 

Roberts leads a team that personally serves over 1,000 domestic violence victims each year, and she does so with contagious spirit and energy, confident leadership and tireless persistence to advocate for those in need.

KPD Organized Crime UnitOrganized Crime Unit – September Unit Commendation 

The Organized Crime Unit was awarded a Unit Commendation for some particularly exemplary work throughout September in removing some repeat violent offenders from the streets of Knoxville. 

Several examples are worth highlighting individually. 

Investigator Brandon Stryker worked a case against a group of confirmed gang members and, following an exhaustive and lengthy investigation, was able to obtain federal indictments for seven individuals for conspiracy to distribute over 50 grams of methamphetamine and cocaine. One of those offenders, in particular, was connected to several violent crimes that occurred in Knoxville. 

Investigator Michael Geddings worked a cocaine and meth case that resulted in three search warrants, the seizure of over a kilo of cocaine and two arrests on federal charges. 

Investigator Jacob Wilson concluded a case against a drug dealer from Detroit operating in Knoxville, and that case ultimately led to three search warrants, the seizure of well over 200 grams of narcotics and four handguns, and two arrests. 

Wilson and Investigator Phil Jinks also conducted a knock and talk at a frequent drug complaint address, arrested the occupant and recovered approximately $10,000 and 80 grams of meth. 

All told over that time period, the Organized Crime Unit was responsible for the arrest of 13 individuals on numerous state and federal charges, recovered over 95 grams of heroin, more than one kilo of cocaine, 210 grams of meth, 12 guns and roughly $48,000 in cash. 

That is only a few examples of the proactive and thorough work done by the Organized Crime Unit on a daily basis to keep drugs and violent offenders off of the streets of Knoxville. 

Drew WinsteadOfficer Drew Winstead – October Lifesaving Award

Officer Drew Winstead was presented the October Lifesaving Award for his quick and decisive action on October 30. 

At about 7:30 p.m. that day, Officer Winstead was on a call at the Knox Area Rescue Ministry. While on that call, Officer Winstead observed a man walking into the lobby in a distressed state. The man was unable to verbalize what was happening to him and Officer Winstead quickly observed that he was choking. 

Officer Winstead acted with decisiveness, stepped behind the man and performed the Heimlich maneuver. After several thrusts, he was able to dislodge a piece of candy that had become lodged in the man’s airway. 

Because of Winstead’s immediate response and quick action when time was of the absolute essence, a tragic event was avoided and the safety and well-being of a citizen was preserved. 

Roach, Sisk, Harris, SiseOfficers Charles Roach, J.D. Sisk, Jonathan Harris and Tanner Sise – October Officers of the Month 

Officers Roach, Sisk, Harris and Sise were presented the October Officer of the Month Award for their collaborative work in identifying, locating and apprehending a suspect involved in over 15 business burglaries and one vehicle theft in the downtown Knoxville area. 

On September 23 and again on October 7, Investigators Sisk and Harris sent KPD officers a bulletin seeking information on the identity of a man suspected of at least 12 business burglaries. Upon receipt of that bulletin, Officer Roach recognized the suspect as one he encountered in mid-August. 

Upon identifying the suspect as Mark Cooper, Officer Roach immediately notified Central Business District officers, providing a detailed description of the suspect based on his prior interaction. Officer Roach also followed up with Investigators Sisk and Harris, who were working those cases. 

This type of proactive police work is routine for Officer Roach, who also reviewed a report on October 7 regarding an additional business burglary at the Smoke Shop on Chapman Highway, where was the suspect vehicle was a white box truck. Later that day, while conducting patrol in the Central Business District, Officer Roach observed the white truck matching that description abandoned near the intersection of Henley Street and Summit Hill Drive. That truck proved to be stolen from Turn Key Installations. 

Officer Roach continued to relay this info to his fellow CBD officers and the investigators involved. On October 8, after receiving the information at hand, Investigators Sisk and Harris and Officer Tanner Sise began an intensive search for the suspect in the downtown area, concentrating their search based off intel gathered throughout the comprehensive investigation. 

After a lengthy search, Sise, Harris and Sisk were able to locate Cooper in an abandoned brewery on Depot Street. The suspect had several articles of clothing that were used to hide his identity while committing the burglaries as well as property taken from several of those burglaries. 

Cooper admitted to all 15 burglaries and one auto theft and additionally had a warrant out of Alabama for parole violation. He is also suspected in several other burglary investigations that remain open and active. 

If not for the collaborative work exhibited by those four officers, Cooper might have not been identified and would still be free to commit additional burglaries.