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Nashville, TN – Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) Colonel Tracy Trott presented Trooper Michael Sullivan and Dispatcher Andrew Lawson with the 2014 Trooper and Dispatcher of the Year award, respectively, at a special ceremony held Wednesday evening in Murfreesboro. Also, the THP Fall Branch District was awarded the 2014 District of the Year.
The University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones served as the keynote speaker. Coach Jones is the son of a long-time police chief and nephew to a Michigan State Police Commander.The THP also recognized troopers and dispatchers in each of the agency’s districts across the state, as well as honored those in specialized units, specifically for investigations, interdiction and commercial vehicle enforcement (CVE).
The top-10 troopers were also recognized for DUI and seat belt and child restraint device enforcement, while five troopers were honored for their work in stopping hazardous moving violators.
“Our state troopers and dispatchers serve on the front line in helping to ensure public safety for all Tennesseans. They truly are the finest public servants and most deserving of recognition. I’m glad that we were able to honor their commitment to the safety and security of Tennessee,” Commissioner Gibbons said.
“The two honorees exemplify the very best of what it means to be a trooper and dispatcher,” Colonel Trott said. “Trooper Sullivan works tirelessly to reduce crime and keep our roadways safer, while Dispatcher Lawson’s professionalism, decisiveness and calm under pressure probably saved the life of a trooper on his shift. It was my privilege to recognize them as the gold standard in their professions in 2014,” he added.
Trooper Michael Sullivan
Trooper Michael Sullivan, who represents the THP Jackson District, earned the 2014 Trooper of the Year honor. Trooper Sullivan led the 10-county district in DUI arrests with 128 and finished second in impaired driving arrests statewide. He consistently produces as a DUI task force member working the midnight shift in Henderson County, arresting 155 individuals, including 16 felony apprehensions.
Trooper Sullivan also investigated 76 crashes and issued 1,117 citations for violations, while conducting 97 commercial motor vehicle inspections last year. A 13-year veteran of the THP, Trooper Sullivan looks beyond the citation and accepts any duty or task assigned.
Dispatcher Andrew Lawson
Dispatcher Andrew Lawson was named the 2014 Dispatcher of the Year after handling an incident involving Trooper Eric Miller on May 2nd, 2014 on Interstate 75. Trooper Miller had initiated a traffic stop at approximately 8:20am on that day.
Moments later, Dispatcher Lawson noticed that the trooper was no longer communicating with dispatch, but sounded as if he was in a struggle. Dispatcher Lawson requested assistance from Loudon County 911 and maintained telephone contact, while coordinating with other troopers to respond to the scene.
Soon after, Trooper Miller made contact and requested assistance, advising that the suspect fled the scene. During the struggle, shots were fired and the suspect attempted to run over Trooper Miller. Dispatcher Lawson determined Trooper Miller’s location in an attempt to make contact with the suspect vehicle.
The THP Fall Branch District earned the 2014 District of the Year award and District Captain Stephen Street took home the colonel’s achievement award after reducing traffic fatalities in the region by 11.3 percent from the
previous year. State troopers in the district also increased DUI arrests 29 percent and seat belt citations by 122 percent, compared to 2013. The Greene County Scales Complex also placed unsafe commercial vehicles out of service at a rate of 41 percent, while commercial vehicle drivers were placed out of service at an 11 percent rate. Both rates were above the national average.
2014 District Trooper of the Year (* denotes statewide Trooper of the Year)
2014 District Dispatcher of the Year (*denotes statewide Dispatcher of the Year)
2014 Specialized Unit Award Recipients
2014 Top 10 Troopers honored for DUI Enforcement
2014 Top 10 Troopers honored for Seat Belt & Child Restraint Device Enforcement
2014 Top Five Troopers honored for Hazardous Moving Violations
TopicsBill Gibbons, Butch Jones, DUI, Eric Miller, Henderson County, Loudon County, Nashville TN, Seat Belt, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Tennessee Highway Patrol, THP, Tracy Trott, Trooper of the Year, University of Tennessee
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