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Investigator Patty Tipton, Patrol Officer Ethan Grantham named 2019 Officers of the Year  
2019 Officers of the Year

Special Crimes Unit Investigator Patty Tipton and West District Patrol Officer Ethan Grantham have been selected as the Knoxville Police Department’s 2019 Officers of the Year, it was announced on Monday, May 11. 

The Knoxville Police Department typically hosts a Recognition Luncheon to honor its yearly award winners. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 Recognition Luncheon was canceled. The winners were presented their award on the afternoon of Friday, May 8. 

“We are thrilled to present these two very deserving individuals with the Officer of the Year Award for 2019,” KPD Chief of Police Eve Thomas said. “Both Investigator Tipton and Officer Grantham consistently deliver the service we strive to provide on a daily basis. High-level police work requires strength of character, unflappable resolve, empathy and dedication to community, which are all qualities that these two officers possess in spades. It is an honor and privilege to recognize their efforts.” 

Tipton is currently assigned as an investigator for the Knoxville Police Department’s Special Crimes Unit, which handles a variety of cases related to child abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse, missing persons and human trafficking. She has served the department since January 1996 and has been recognized as the Officer of the Month on two separate occasions. 

Tipton was selected as one of the co-recipients of the 2019 Officer of the Year award for her exceptional investigative work, selfless devotion to the community and compassionate advocacy for victims. 

In 2019, Tipton was a part of the felony convictions of six individuals that resulted in over 50 years of prison time or probation. Those felonies include charges of child abuse and rape, as well as a DUI that she intervened in while off duty. 

In addition to that, Tipton was appointed to serve another term on the Tennessee Second Look Commission. That Commission is comprised of a diverse group of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children. The findings and recommendations of the Commission are aimed at addressing all stages of investigating and attempting to remedy severe child abuse. 

On top of that, Tipton volunteered to serve as a mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee program. 

Tipton works diligently to protect and advocate for all victims and ensure that their medical, psychological and familial needs are met. She has also helped foster a team-driven approach by routinely working alongside outside agencies and seeking expert training, which she freely shares with her colleagues both internally and externally. 

“Investigator Tipton is a genuinely caring and compassionate officer who serves here community and colleagues with grace and professionalism,” Special Crimes Unit Sergeant Darrell Griffin said. “She is humble and selfless in her pursuit of justice for victims.” 

Grantham is currently assigned as a patrol officer on evening shift in the West District. After previously serving as a KPD Animal Control Officer for three years, Grantham started the recruit academy in February 2017. In his short time as a KPD officer, he has twice been recognized as the department’s Officer of the Month. 

Grantham was selected to receive the 2019 Officer of the Year recognition for his consistent proactive work and commitment to keeping Knoxville safe. 

In 2019 alone, Grantham accomplished the following: 10 DUI arrests and six gun arrests, both top-10 figures among all KPD officers; 61 drug arrests, including 36 felony drug offenses; and 73 individuals arrested with outstanding warrants. 

Grantham was recognized as the 2019 April Officer of the Month after he helped initiate a large-scale investigation involving both the Organized Crime Unit and the Drug-Related Death Task Force after responding to an overdose call. That investigation uncovered a widespread network of heroin and fentanyl trafficking extending from Knoxville to Detroit, and resulted in the federal indictment of 15 individuals for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Fentanyl. 

Grantham was also responsible for several other large drug seizures. On May 30, 2019, a traffic stop on Underhill Lane resulted in the seizure of over one and a half pounds of marijuana, nearly 25 grams of methamphetamine, over 13 grams of white powdery substance believed to be heroin, and three firearms. On July 10, a traffic stop on Middlebrook Pike uncovered over 35 grams of presumed methamphetamine from a rental vehicle out of Detroit. On July 25, a traffic stop on University Avenue resulted in the seizure of approximately 112 grams of heroin with a street value of about $20,000. 

“For a fairly new officer, Grantham has educated and applied himself to the techniques of addressing crimes in his patrol area,” West District Sergeant Samuel Henard said. “His willingness to learn and his drive to perform should be looked upon as a paradigm for the officers we should cultivate here at KPD.”

2019 Officer of the Year video

Posted by serland On 11 May, 2020 at 9:58 AM  

 
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