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Tennessee Department of Safety Announces THP Promotions


Tennessee Department of SafetyNashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Safety today officially recognized the promotion of 14 members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The promotion ceremony took place at 10:00am on Monday, September 27th, 2010 at the THP Training Center located at 275 Stewarts Ferry Pike in Nashville.
Commissioner Dave Mitchell, Colonel Tracy Trott, and members of THP’s Command Staff, presented rank advancements to the following members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol:

J.R. Perry

A 33-year veteran of the THP, J.R. Perry has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel over the Field Operations Bureau after serving as Major, Executive Officer since 2006. Lt. Col. Perry began his career with THP in November 1977, serving as a Road Trooper in Montgomery and Williamson Counties. In 1985, he worked as a Training Sergeant in the Training Center and later moved to Road Sergeant in Davidson and Montgomery Counties. He also served as the Administrative Sergeant for the Nashville District for two years.

In February 2003, Perry was promoted to Captain, serving as Director over the Department of Safety Training Center until his advancement to the rank of Major in 2006. Lt. Col. Perry is a 1988 graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and served in the U.S. Army from 1972 – 1974. He is married with five children and 14 grandchildren.  

Dereck Stewart

After serving as Captain over the Department of Safety Research, Planning and Development (RPD) Division, Dereck Stewart has been promoted to the rank of Major as Executive Officer in the Colonel’s Office. Prior to overseeing RPD, Stewart served two years as Captain in the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and as a Lieutenant and Sergeant in the Training Center from July 1995 to January 2007.

Stewart was commissioned as a Trooper with the Highway Patrol in December of 1987, serving in Montgomery County. He is a 1997 graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and a 2009 graduate of the FBI National Academy. Stewart and his wife, Cynthia, have two children.

Richard  Hurley

Richard “Dean” Hurley has been promoted to Major over Field Operations Bureau-East. Since 2006, Hurley has served as Captain over the 13-county Fall Branch District in East Tennessee. Major Hurley began his career with the THP in 1977, serving in Sullivan County and his native Washington County as a Road and D.A.R.E. Trooper in 1990 until his promotion to Sergeant in 1993.

In 2003, Hurley was promoted to Safety Education Lieutenant in Sullivan County, until his promotion to Captain in 2006. Major Hurley currently teaches criminal justice courses at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City where he also received his Master of Arts degree in criminology in 1996 and a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice in 1983. Hurley served in the U.S. Air Force from 1973 – 1976. He and wife Vicky have one daughter and reside in Jonesborough.

Danny W. Talley

Danny W. Talley will return to East Tennessee after garnering a promotion as the new Captain of the Fall Branch District, replacing Major Hurley. Captain Talley, who has served as the Director of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) since December 2009, began his career as a Road Trooper in Unicoi County in 1987. He also worked the roads in Cocke County before being promoted to Sergeant in 1994 then to Lieutenant in Sullivan County in 2007.

In 2009, Talley began serving as the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge for CID East Tennessee Region 1 in Morristown. A 1997 graduate of the Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command, Talley was also selected to attend the FBI National Academy’s 234th Session and FBI Executive Development School. He and his wife reside in Parrottsville, Tennessee, and they have one daughter, Charley, who is a college student.

Darrell Miller

Darrell Miller, a 17-year employee in Research, Planning and Development, has been promoted to Captain of the RPD division. Assigned to RPD in1993, Captain Miller was promoted to sergeant of the department in 2002 and then to lieutenant in 2006. Miller joined the Department of Safety in 1984 as a Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officer for the Robertson County Inspection Station. Three years later, he was transferred to state headquarters in Nashville as an administrative officer.

Miller later worked as a Trooper in Robertson County from 1990-1993. A graduate from the Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command, Miller has also attained instructor status in Radar, Motor Vehicle Law, Firearms and Defensive Driving.

Mike Hamilton

Mike Hamilton hassecured Lieutenant status with the THP District 3, Troop E in Robertson County. Lt. Hamilton was commissioned with the Highway Patrol in March 1997 and was first assigned to patrol duties in Putnam County. In 2000, he joined the Special Operations Team until returning to the road a couple of years later.

The Livingston, Tennessee, native was promoted to Road Sergeant in the Cookeville District in 2006 and was reassigned to lead the Cumberland County troopers in January 2009. Hamilton, a 2002 Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command graduate, also served a brief stint with the Staff Inspection unit. He currently resides in Ashland City, Tennessee.

John W. Harmon

John W. Harmon has been promoted to Lieutenant of the Special Programs unit in the Chattanooga district. Lt. Harmon began working with the Tennessee Public Service Commission as a Motor Carrier Enforcement Officer stationed at the Manchester Scales in February 1995. During that time, he worked both scales and road patrol for Sequatchie, Marion and Grundy counties.

The creation of the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division created new opportunities for Harmon, as he served as a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) Officer (1996) and on the Alternative Commercial Enforcement Strategies (A.C.E.S.) team in 1997. In 2001, Harmon was promoted to sergeant of the A.C.E.S. unit and later assumed the role of the Chattanooga District A.C.E.S. Sergeant after the CVE/THP merger in July 2004. In 2008, Harmon made sergeant for the Special Programs unit in Chattanooga. He resides in Dunlap, Tennessee, with wife, Gayla.

Jeremy K. Austin

Jeremy K. Austin, an eight-year member of the THP, has been promoted to Sergeant of the Research, Planning and Development division. Austin began his career with the THP in January 2002, where he was first assigned to Putnam County as a Road Trooper. After a four-year stint on the road, Austin was transferred to RPD in October 2006 to work on the Electronic Crash Reporting System.

Sgt. Austin continues to work with the TITAN electronic reporting system and technology, and also serves as the Reporting Agency Coordinator with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS). Austin, a member of the THP Honor Guard, is married with two young children. They reside in Sparta, Tennessee.

Steven Edwin Crouch

Originally from Lafayette, Tennessee, Steven Edwin Crouch has been promoted to Staff Inspections Sergeant in Nashville. The 12-year veteran of the THP joined the Dekalb and White County troopers after completing cadet school in 1998. He worked those counties for two years before moving on to Clay and Jackson counties, where he remained until his recent promotion.

Sgt. Crouch, a former member of the Cookeville District Riot Squad, is also trained in Advanced Traffic Investigation, Advanced Spanish, Officer Survival and Child Restraint. He has three children and lives in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee.

Christopher J. Hosick

Christopher J. Hosick has been promoted to Sergeant of Henry County in the Jackson District.  He joined the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 2000 and has worked as a Road Trooper in Haywood County (2000-2002), Henderson County (2002-2007) and Madison County (2009-2010).

Hosick also served as a member of the Critical Incident Response Team for two years (2007-2009). He is also a certified crash reconstructionist, radar instructor and child restraint technician. Hosick resides in Lexington, Tennessee, with his wife Beth and four children.

Ricky Woodward

Ricky Woodward earned Sergeant ranking after a 21-year career with the THP. Sgt. Woodward started as a trooper in THP District 1, Knox County and was later transferred to Campbell County in 1997, where he worked until his 2010 promotion. Sgt. Woodward is currently stationed in THP District 3’s Rutherford County.

Originally from Jacksboro, Tennessee, Sgt. Woodward also acts as an instructor for Post Certified, Radar and TraCS/TITAN/Stars, and is a CMV Level 1 Inspector, a Technical Crash Investigator and THP Computer Tech.

Mark Stanford

A second generation State Trooper, Mark Stanford has been promoted to the West Bureau’s Special Agent in Charge in the Criminal Investigation Division. Joining the THP in 1984, SAC Stanford was first assigned to Hardin County as a Road Trooper. He completed his road duties in Henderson County in 1991, when he was promoted to CID Special Agent in West Tennessee.

In 2004, Stanford was elevated to Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the West Tennessee region until his most recent promotion. Stanford is a 2005 graduate of the Northwestern School of Staff and Command.

Barbara Bigham

Barbara Bigham has been promoted to Administrative Services Assistant III – Forms and Publication Manager for Research, Planning and Development. Bigham began her career with the Department of Safety in the Human Resources Division in January 2000.

In 2004, she joined the Criminal Investigation Division and later worked as assistant for Lt. Colonel Danny Wilson and Major Wayne Springer in the THP Field Operations Bureau. A 22-year veteran of the state, Bigham also held posts in the 20th and 24th Judicial Districts of the TN District Attorney’s General Conference. She is married with one daughter and two granddaughters, and lives in Rutherford County.

Michelle Phillips

Michelle Phillips, a 12-year employee of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, has been promoted to Communications Supervisor for the Chattanooga District. A dedicated employee, Phillips also serves as the Terminal Agency Control Officer in Chattanooga’s district, a duty which requires knowledge and competence in the National Crime Information Center and other criminal record depositories.

The Dunlap, Tennessee, native was also instrumental in the completion of the THP’s Communications Policy and Procedure Manual for all eight district communication centers. She is a Sequatchie Community High School graduate.  

About The Tennessee Department of Safety

The Tennessee Department of Safety’s mission is ( to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.




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