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Clarksville honors Tennessee’s Fallen Law Enforcement Officers during National Police Week

 

CPD LogoClarksville, TN – The Clarksville Police Department held a special ceremony for the 2011 Law Enforcement Week recognizing the contribution and sacrifices made by our police officers in the line of duty. A total of five Clarksville Police Officers have died serving the public including Kermit L. Nipple, Kenneth L. Browning, Aaron Doug Glenn, David Scott, and Yamil Baez-Santiago, one K-9 also died in the line of duty. In addition Chief Ansley recognized several officers who during the last year went far beyond the call of duty.

The CPD Honor Guard fires a salute in honor of the fallen police officers

The CPD Honor Guard fires a salute in honor of the fallen police officers

 

According to CNN,  160 Police Officers in the United States were killed in the line of duty during 2010.  The Officer Down Memorial identifies 70 Officers who have died so far this year.  Since 1791, there have been 20,565 Police Officers killed in the line of duty in the United States.

While in Tennessee only three officers died in the line of duty during the last year. A total 536 Tennessee Police Officers have given their lives serving the public including five officers from the City of Clarksville Tennessee.

On average a law enforcement officer was killed every 53 hours in the United States during 2010.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan speaking at the 2011 Law Enforcement Week Memorial Ceremony

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan speaking at the 2011 Law Enforcement Week Memorial Ceremony

Mayor Kim McMillan spoke first reading from an official proclamation:

CITY OF CLARKSVILLE
PROCLAMATION
“LAW ENFORCEMENT WEEK”

WHEREAS, THE CONGRESS AND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAVE DESIGNATED MAY 16, 2011 AS LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMORIAL DAY, AND THE WEEK IN WHICH IT FALLS AS LAW ENFORCEMENT WEEK; AND

WHEREAS, THE MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES PLAY AN ESSENTIAL ROLE IN SAFEGUARDING THE RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF THE CITIZENS OF CLARKSVILLE AND MONTGOMERY COUNTY; AND

WHEREAS, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ALL CITIZENS KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEMS, DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, AND THAT MEMBERS OF OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES RECOGNIZE THEIR DUTY TO SERVE THE PEOPLE BY SAFEGUARDING LIFE AND PROPERTY BY PROTECTING THEM AGAINST VIOLENCE OR DISORDER, AND BY PROTECTING THE INNOCENT AGAINST DECEPTION AND THE WEAK AGAINST OPPRESSION OR INTIMIDATION.

Now, therefore, I, Kim McMillan, Mayor of the city of Clarksville, Tennessee do hereby proclaim the week of May 16, 2011, as

“Law enforcement week”

And call upon all citizens and all patriotic, civic, and educational organizations to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies in which all of our people may join in commemorating law enforcement officers, past and present, who by their faith and loyal devotion to their responsibilities, have rendered a dedicated service to their community and in doing so have established for themselves an enviable and enduring reputation for preserving the rights and security of CITIZENS.

“I’m very proud to proclaim today as Law Enforcement Memorial Day, and this week as Law Enforcement Week. To recognize all of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to our community” she said.

Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers speaking at the 2011 Law Enforcement Week Memorial Ceremony

Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers speaking at the 2011 Law Enforcement Week Memorial Ceremony

After Mayor McMillan finished the colors were posted and the invocations were said. Then it was time for Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers to speak:

“Good afternoon I am honored to be in front of you today on behalf of Montgomery County Government. As I look around the room today, I am pleased to see so many different uniforms that serve the citizens of Montgomery County.

We know that it takes a special person to serve and protect others. And I don’t think that we always stop long enough to thank you all for what you do.

Today, we extend our deepest gratitude to those of you in public safety, especially those of you who have lost loved ones, family members in the line of duty. And to those who worked with those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

We know that public safety is a commitment that someone makes when they take that job, and it becomes a career and a lifestyle for that person and for their family. It is a different way of living. It has to be somebody that has a servant’s heart that wants to protect and serve others; it’s not for the pay we all know that.

A person’s real character and strength is evident by their willingness to serve others on a daily basis. Your bravery and self sacrifice does not go un-noticed. Today we honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, and our hearts grieve along with the families for their loss. You all are our heroes, and we thank you for the daily sacrifice and commitment that you make for this community in carrying out your duties.

For this we honor you and thank you, may God bless you.”

Mayor Bowers was followed by Chief Deputy Sheriff Edgar Patterson from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Austin Peay State University Campus Police Chief Lantz Biles,  Fort Campbell’s Chief Chaplin Roger Heath, and District Attorney John Carney.

The names of the three officers from Tennessee who died in the line of duty during the last year were read and a red flower placed in the white wreath. The fallen included State Trooper Andy Wall, Captain Ralph Braden from the Wartburg Police Department, and Sergeant James Timothy (Tim) Chapin from the Chattanooga Police Department. Military service deaths were also recognized.

A final flower was placed in the wreath recognizing retired officer Russell W. Herndon who died recently. He served in the Clarksville Police Department for 34 years.

Following the recognition of the fallen Chief Al Ansley spoke briefly, then he honored several officers who have upheld the highest traditions of the Clarksville Police Department.

Officer Beau Skinner listens as Chief Al Ansley reads his Commendation for Heroism

Officer Beau Skinner listens as Chief Al Ansley reads his Commendation for Heroism

Officer Beau Skinner was presented a Medal of Valor by Chief Al Ansley for lifesaving actions above and beyond the call of duty during his response to a house fire. Detectives Newman, Ulrey, and Bradley were presented with a Chief’s coin for their actions for dealing with an armed juvenile.

The City of Clarksville’s Law Enforcement Week coincides with the National Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 that set aside May 15th as National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and the week in which May 15th falls as National Police Week. This year, National Police Week will run from Sunday, May 15th through Saturday, May 21th.

The law was later amended by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1995, Public Law 103-322 signed by President Bill Clinton, directing that the flag of the United States be displayed at half-staff on all government buildings on May 15th each year as a tribute to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

This year, communities across the United States are coming together during National Police Week—May 15th-21st – to honor and remember those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the family members, friends and fellow officers they left behind.

The names of 316 officers killed in the line of duty in the last year are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. These 316 officers include 152 officers who were killed during 2010, plus 164 officers who died in previous years but whose stories of sacrifice had been lost to history until now. Final data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund show that for the 13th year in a row, traffic fatalities were the leading cause of officer fatalities, with 71 officers killed in the line of duty—an increase of 36 percent from 2009.

During National Police Week, police officers show their support for the fallen and their families by wearing Mourning Bands on their badges. These bands are worn for the entirety of Police Week.

Photo Gallery

2011’s Fallen

Trooper Andy Wall

Tennessee Highway Patrol
End of Watch: Saturday, May 7th, 2011
Cause: Motorcycle accident

Trooper Andy Wall of the Tennessee Highway Patrol

Trooper Andy Wall of the Tennessee Highway Patrol

Trooper Andy Wall was killed in a motorcycle accident on the Sam Ridley Parkway, in Smyrna, while escorting members of the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds to an air show.

Another vehicle struck the motorcycles that Trooper Wall and another trooper were riding. Trooper Wall was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The other trooper was treated and released.

Trooper Wall had served with the Tennessee Highway Patrol for seven years. He is survived by his parents, sister, and girlfriend.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan placed a flower in the wreath to memorialize his loss.

Captain Ralph Braden

Wartburg Police Department
End of Watch: Monday, May 2, 2011
Cause: Assault

Captain Ralph Braden of the Wartburg Police Department

Captain Ralph Braden of the Wartburg Police Department

Captain Ralph Braden succumbed to injuries sustained 10 days earlier while attempting to arrest a male subject at the scene of a domestic dispute.

He was seriously injured while struggling with the subject after the man attempted to escape out of a window. The subject was able to flee the scene but was arrested 14 hours later.

Captain Braden was transported to a local hospital where he remained in ICU until succumbing to the injuries.

The subject is facing charges in connection with Captain Braden’s murder.

Captain Braden had served with the Wartburg Police Department for 22 years.

Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers placed a flower in the wreath to memorialize his loss.

Sergeant James Timothy (Tim) Chapin

Chattanooga Police Department
End of Watch: Saturday, April 2, 2011
Cause: Gunfire

Sergeant Tim Chapin of the Chattanooga Police Department

Sergeant Tim Chapin of the Chattanooga Police Department

Sergeant Tim Chapin was shot and killed after responding to a robbery at a pawn shop at approximately 10:25 am.

As responding officers arrived at the scene they were immediately fired upon by the suspect from inside the store. As officers took cover the subject ran from a side door and continued firing at pursuing officers.

The subject then fired into Sergeant Chapin’s patrol car as he arrived at the scene. The patrol car struck the subject and Sergeant Chapin exited the vehicle and pursued the man on foot but was shot in the head and killed.

Other officers continued to return fire and shot the suspect before taking him into custody. One other officer was shot in the back but the round was stopped by his vest.

Sergeant Chapin had served with the Chattanooga Police Department for 27 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Chief Deputy Edgar Patterson placed a flower in the wreath to memorialize his loss

Clarksville Police Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

Patrolman Kermit Leonard Nipple

Tour of Duty: 2 Years 6 months
End of Watch: Sunday, September 9, 1945
Age: Not available

On or about February 5th, 1943, Leonard Nipple was appointed patrolman with the Clarksville Police Department under Chief John Balthrop. Officer Nipple came here from Kansas. He was considered a good officer, fearless, dependable and had the respect of the entire police force, receiving the nickname of “Cowboy”.

The morning of August 9th, 1945, a fire broke out at the Clarksville Laundry which became so intense it melted and shattered windows of a number of other businesses across 3rd Street. Officer Nipple responded with firefighters to the scene. He was standing with the firefighters in the doorway of the laundry’s boiler room when a wall collapsed and Officer Nipple and Firefighter Marshall Hodge were struck by falling brick. Officer Nipple succumbed to his injuries and died. Firefighter Hodge was taken to the hospital, treated and released.

In an editorial from The Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, it was said of Officer Nipple: “His last act was typical of him, a willingness to do his duty, regardless of risk to life.”

He was buried in Medicine Lodge, Kansas. One of the first acts under new Chief Al Ansley, the family of Leonard Nipple received recognition of this officer’s last act as a police officer.

Kenneth Lee Browning

Tour of Duty: 3 years
End of Watch: Wednesday, February 13, 1974
Age: 35

On the morning of February 13th, 1974, FBI Agent Frank Christian came to the police station to report seeing a black male carrying a shotgun walking south on 2nd Street. Officers Kenneth Browning and Joe Mixon left headquarters to locate the individual. Joe Mixon had been with the Department about a year and Browning had left the Dickson Police Department with 3-4 years of service and had only been with the Clarksville Police Department a few months.

They approached 2nd Street in the area of the US Post Office when they saw the black male, later identified as Howard Gentry, 42 standing at the intersection of Madison and 3rd Street. Gentry had been described as a loner and his mother had sought help for his deteriorating mental state of mind.

Turning on the patrol car’s blue lights, they stopped about ten feet from him. Officer Browning exited from behind the wheel and ordered Gentry to “freeze”. Gentry then pivoted around, pointing the shotgun at Browning and told him to get back in the vehicle. Officer Browning barely managed to do so when Gentry fired four rounds into the car, taking out the back window and striking Officer Mixon in the right hand and shoulder and Officer Browning in the abdomen.

Officer Browning attempted to drive forward but was unable to do so. He opened his car door and fell to the pavement. Officer Mixon radioed for help and an ambulance. By then, Gentry had opened fire on others, hitting two city firemen as they ran for cover, as well as a man exiting the Royal York Hotel. In addition to the shotgun, Gentry also had a revolver which he fired at a woman as she tried to exit the post office parking lot. Witnesses saw him reload both weapons.

At this point, Officers Wade Harris, Billy Poor, and Larry Thrower arrived at the scene and a gun battle ensued, in which Officer Harris was shot in the leg. More gunfire ensured until it was believed that Gentry was no longer a lethal threat. Officer Thrower maneuvered until he came upon Gentry and removed the shotgun from his hands. Gentry was later pronounced dead at Memorial Hospital.

Officer Kenneth Browning, 38 years of age, died on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 1974, twenty-eight hours after receiving massive abdominal injuries from his wounds. He left behind a wife and step-children.

It was a tragedy that stunned Clarksville and devastated the Police Department.

Patrolman Aaron Doug Glenn

End of Watch: Tuesday, November 15, 1983
Tour of Duty: Not available
Age: 32

The afternoon of November 5, 1983, Officer “Doug” Glenn, with CPD’s Traffic Unit, was on his motorcycle traveling north on Fort Campbell Blvd to assist another officer on a domestic call. A station wagon pulled from the entrance of Magic Wheels Skating Rink across the road and stopped in the median with part of the vehicle still in the roadway. Although traveling at a normal speed, Officer Glenn was unable to keep from striking the side of the vehicle and was thrown from his motorcycle some 39 feet after the point of impact.

Officer Glenn was rushed to Memorial Hospital where he later was transferred to the Nashville Baptist Hospital’s neurological intensive care unit and placed on life support systems.

For two weeks, police officers, deputies, civilians, and private citizens held onto hope for Officer Glenn’s recovery. On the morning of November 19, 1983, at approximately 10:22 a.m., the 10-year police veteran died at 32 years of age. CPD mourned the loss of a friend, comrade and family member. He left behind a wife and two children.

No charges were filed against the driver of the station wagon.

Patrolman David John Scott

Tour of Duty: 8 years
End of Watch: Friday, June 7, 2002
Age: 42

Patrolman David Scott and Patrolman Yamil Baez-Santiago were killed in an automobile accident during a vehicle pursuit. The two officers were chasing a robbery suspect on the 101st Airborne Division Parkway when their patrol car collided with another vehicle near Peachers Mill Road. The patrol car burst into flames and both officers were trapped inside. The driver of the other vehicle was injured. The suspect fled the scene but was eventually apprehended. Patrolman Scott was a US Army veteran. He was a Field Training Officer and had been employed with the Clarksville Police Department for eight years. He is survived by his wife and four children.

On November 4, 2004, the suspect was found guilty of four counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of reckless vehicular homicide. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Patrolman Yamil Baez-Santiago

Tour of Duty: 6 months
End of Watch: Friday, June 7, 2002
Age: 23

Patrolman Yamil Baez-Santiago and Patrolman David Scott were killed in an automobile accident during a vehicle pursuit. The two officers were chasing a robbery suspect on the 101st Airborne Division Parkway when their patrol car collided with another vehicle near Peachers Mill Road. The patrol car burst into flames and both officers were trapped inside. The driver of the other vehicle was injured. The suspect fled the scene but was eventually apprehended. Patrolman Baez-Santiago was a US Army veteran and had been with the Clarksville Police Department for only six months. He is survived by his wife and two children.

On November 4, 2004, the suspect was found guilty of four counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of reckless vehicular homicide. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Police Service Dog King

Tour of duty: Unknown
End of Watch: Monday, May 22nd, 1978
Age: 4-1/2

Police Service Dog (PSD) KING, a 4-1/2 year old German Shepherd assigned to Clarksville Police Department’s Canine Unit made the supreme sacrifice in May of 1978.

On the night of May 22nd, 1978, King was accompanying his partner, Officer Ralph Prost, in responding to a burglary in progress call. As Officer Prost approached the house, a man stepped out with a shotgun. He raised his weapon to fire at the officer and King, true to his training, sprang in front of Officer Prost, taking the shotgun blast to his body that was intended for his partner.

Police Service Dog King was laid to rest with the dignity and honor accorded to all law enforcement officers. He had given his life unconditionally.

During his law enforcement career, King assisted in 1,366 backup calls and 42 apprehensions.


About Bill Larson

    Bill Larson

    Bill Larson is the Creator and Publisher of Clarksville Online, and works as a network administrator for Compu-Net Enterprises. He is politically and socially active in the community. Bill serves on the board of the Clarksville Community Concert Association, and is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave.

    You can reach him via telephone at 931-249-0043 or via the email address below.

    Email: clarksville@clarksvilleonline.com

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