KPD Officer Hardin Named Purple Heart Recipient

Communications Director

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

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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KPD Officer Hardin Named Purple Heart Recipient

Posted: 04/01/2019
Chief Thomas, Officer Hardin, Mayor RogeroOfficer Barry (B.K.) Hardin was named the Purple Heart recipient at the Knoxville Police Department’s Recognition Luncheon on Monday, April 1, 2019. 

On November 17, 2018 Officer Hardin was directing traffic at the intersection of 17th Street and Clinch Avenue following a University of Tennessee football game. While directing traffic, an unknown suspect ran up behind Hardin and struck him in the back of the head with a weapon believed to be the claw end of a hammer. The suspect then ran off westbound on Clinch Avenue and was not apprehended.

Officer Hardin suffered a skull fracture that required emergency surgery which involved removing a portion of his skull and replacing the section with a metal plate. The injury sustained was very serious in nature and potentially fatal. 

Although no officer is known to have interacted with the suspect prior to the incident, the suspect’s actions and weapon utilized indicated that his intention was clearly to cause serious bodily injury or death to Officer Hardin.

After a few weeks of recovery time, Officer Hardin was back on the job doing what he loves, serving the citizens of our great city.  

Based on the injuries that Officer Hardin received in the line-of-duty and while conducting police operations, he was presented with the 2018 Purple Heart award.


Chief Thomas, Officer Hardin, Cody Griffith, Mayor RogeroAlso at the luncheon today, citizen Cody Griffith was presented with a Knoxville Police Department Citation of Service.

When Officer Hardin was injured by the unknown suspect, Mr. Griffith provided immediate help and care to Officer Hardin during the officer's critical situation.

Thank you Mr. Griffith for your quick thinking and using your volunteer firefighter skills to help a KPD officer in need.