Sheriff’s Office awards several commendations

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MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong is proud to announce the Sheriff’s Office awarded three commendations to two deserving law enforcement officers and one heroic former law enforcement officer. The three commendations were awarded during a short ceremony at the Blount County Justice Center this morning.
Deputy Chief Jeff French awarded a Lifesaving Commendation to Blount County Sheriff’s Deputy Devan Teaster. On July 5, Deputy Teaster saved the life of Eric Spears following a car accident. Deputy Teaster saw that Spears’ arm was seriously injured. A few days prior, Deputy Teaster received TECC (Tactical Emergency Casualty Care) training and learned how to properly administer a tourniquet. Deputy Teaster saw that Mr. Spears’ arm was bleeding profusely and knew the bleeding had to be stopped. Deputy Teaster acted on his training and applied a tourniquet to Mr. Spears’ arms, stopping the bleeding. Though Mr. Spears’ ultimately lost his arm due to the severity of the injury, surgeons stated that Deputy Teasters’ quick and proper emergency care saved Mr. Spears’ life. Deputy Teaster has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since 2015 is a School Resource Officer.

The family of Eric Spears, who was seriously injured in a car accident on July 5, were present this morning to thank Deputy Devan Teaster for saving the life of Eric Spears.

Sheriff Berrong also awarded a Law Enforcement Commendation and a Citizen Service Award to University of Tennessee Police Department Asst. Chief Sean Patterson and his wife Anaida Patterson, respectively. On June 28, the Patterson’s were visiting Blount County and traveling U.S. Highway 321 West near the Big Springs Road exit when they came upon a vehicle pulled to the side of the road and saw frantic activity within the vehicle. Asst. Chief Patterson and Anaida Patterson, who are both retired law enforcement officers from New York Police Department, knew something was wrong based on their training and experience. The Pattersons turned around and saw the baby’s mother outside the car holding an unconscious infant boy. The baby, Joseph, was choking on a piece of food.
The Pattersons immediately took control of the situation, and using their training and rendered first aid by delivering back blows which dislodged the food. Baby Joseph began breathing again, regained consciousness, and suffered no lasting effects from the incident.
Several co-workers, friends, and family members of the law enforcement officers and the grateful victims were in attendance at the ceremony.
The Sheriff’s Lifesaving Award is conferred upon a sworn or civilian employee who is directly responsible for saving a life.

Asst. Chief Patterson and his wife Anaida Patterson (pictured center) saved the life of Baby Joseph on June 28.

The Citizen Service Award may be conferred on any citizen who is not an employee of the Sheriff’s Office, and the act or achievement must be directly related to the overall law enforcement objectives of the Sheriff’s Office that may include extraordinary heroism or unselfish devotion to a fellow human being, or meritorious achievement in the performance of civic responsibility.
The Law Enforcement Commendation is awarded to a law enforcement officer from another agency who brings credit to themselves, their agency, and the Blount County Sheriff’s Office for an exceptional act clearly resulting in the saving of a life, or performing an act of valor that aids someone who is clearly in need, and who goes above and beyond for an individual, while the law enforcement officer is on or off duty and within the jurisdiction of Blount County.
The sheriff’s office recently awarded several other officers for their life-saving efforts, read about it here.
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GCSO Employee Spotlight Communications Officer Chris Prince

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Our Sheriff’s Office employs just over 100 people including sworn deputies, 911 dispatchers, detention officers, and civilian employees serving Gilmer County. While a lot of you know someone that works here, we are recognizing employees on our page to give more people the opportunity to meet “us.”

This week, we would like to introduce you to Communications Officer Chris Prince. Prince has been employed with GCSO for 3.5 years as a Dispatcher in the 911 Center since day one.

ChrisChris is a 2013 graduate of Copper Basin High School in Copperhill, Tennessee. His very first job was working at O’Reilly Auto Parts as a Parts Salesman.

Chris says his hobbies are spending time with his wife and children, hunting, fishing, and watching Nascar. He listed “anything BBQ” as his favorite food, “Remember the Titans” and/or “Days of Thunder” as his favorite movies, and said that Gatlinburg, Tennessee is his favorite place to vacation.

When asked what is one thing most people don’t know about him, he said he actually “writes amatuer sports articles for fun for a website called ‘Belly Up Sports.'”

Chris lists “the people I work with and helping the community” as his favorite part of his job here at GCSO.

Thanks for the difficult job you do for GCSO and Gilmer County citizens, Chris!

 

 

(article and photos provided by the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Department)

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GCSO Employee Spotlight Sgt. Gene Hefner

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Our Sheriff’s Office employs just over 100 people including sworn deputies, 911 dispatchers, detention officers, and civilian employees serving Gilmer County. While a lot of you know someone that works here, we are recognizing employees on our page to give more people the opportunity to meet “us.”

This week, we would like to introduce you to Sgt. Gene Hefner. Gene has been employed with the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office since 2010. Gene’s tenure here was briefly interrupted by a year-long stint in Kosovo in 2011 while serving with the National Guard.

Gene is a 2004 graduate of Cherokee High School in Canton, Georgia.

He honorably served with the National Guard for six years. His first job was as a Cashier at Kroger.

During his time with GCSO, he has served in the jail as a Detention Officer, Corporal, and Sergeant. He has been with the Uniform Patrol Division as a Deputy Sheriff, Corporal, and currently serves as a Sergeant since being promoted in August of 2018. In 2018, Gene was awarded a “Combat Award Certificate” at our annual awards banquet.

Gene listed his hobbies as fishing, hunting, and golf. He says pizza is his favorite food, “Cool Hand Luke” is his favorite movie, and the beach is his favorite place to vacation.

What many people may not know about Gene is he and his wife became foster parents about one year ago.

When asked about his favorite part of his job here at GCSO, he states “my coworkers.”

Gene, we sincerely hope working here with all of us has not caused you to go bald in your 30’s!! THANK YOU for the job you do for GCSO and Gilmer citizens!

 

 

(article and photos provided by the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Department)

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Deputies recognized for their lifesaving efforts

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MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Several sheriff’s deputies were recognized for their lifesaving efforts and other deputies as employees of the month recently.
Deputy Rex Ogle received the honor of March Employee of the Month for intervening in a plot in March involving an unreported armed robbery that led to a group of individuals planning to do harm to the would-be robber. While on patrol on March 19, Deputy Ogle saw a vehicle with several people acting suspiciously and driving erratically. During the traffic stop, Deputy Ogle discovered a loaded weapon and a significant amount of cash, methamphetamine, and marijuana. He learned that one of the passengers had tossed another weapon from the vehicle and that the driver was being forced to drive to a secluded area and that the occupants were planning to harm the driver. Because of his proactive and reactive enforcement efforts, Deputy Ogle likely saved the driver from serious harm, and possibly saved his life. Deputy Ogle began his career at the Sheriff’s Office in January 2017 and serves as a patrolman.
Deputy Khalil Whitehead was awarded our April Employee of the Month for intercepting two burglary bandits during the overnight hours on March 31. While on patrol on Carpenters Grade road, Deputy Whitehead saw a vehicle pulling a utility trailer with two lawnmowers that were not tied down. Due to his training and experience, Deputy Whitehead believed the lawnmowers could be stolen. He attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle, but the driver accelerated into a neighborhood and drove through several yards before stopping at a retention pond. Both individuals in the vehicle fled on foot. Deputy Whitehead immediately caught one of the suspects. During his investigation, Deputy Whitehead found that the suspects had stolen the trailer, a riding lawn mower, and a push mower from three locations. He was able to return the stolen items to the owners, and the suspect was arrested on multiple charges. Deputy Whitehead began his career with BCSO in January 2018 and attended Class 017 of the Sheriff’s Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy. He is assigned to patrol.
Cpl. Chris Carter received the honor as our June Employee of the Month for talking an armed man out of committing suicide. The incident occurred on June 17. He and other deputies responded to the call of a man who was threatening suicide. Cpl. Carter was the first to arrive on scene and he encountered a man armed with a pistol on the front porch of the residence. The man stood up and refused to put down the pistol or comply as he walked into the backyard. Cpl. Carter remained calm and continued to try to get the man to relinquish the gun while talking o him empathetically and encouraging him that the situation was going to be alright. Cpl. Carter placed himself in harm’s way in proximity to the man so that he could hear him and continue to talk to him directly in an effort to peacefully resolve the situation. The circumstances, the man’s actions, including having both hands on the pistol, and action versus reaction principles could have easily ended badly. Fortunately, the man finally complied after 30 minutes and released the gun. The man was taken for an emergency mental health evaluation. Cpl. Carter has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since 2014, and was promoted to corporal in 2016. Cpl. Carter serves with the patrol unit.
The Sheriff’s Office also awarded two Lifesaving Awards and a Citizen Service Award. Deputy Patrolman Kendyhl Rodgers was awarded a Lifesaving Award for helping to save the life of a man who was trapped inside a vehicle that had become submerged upside down in the water on the night of April 21. Deputy Rodgers, along with a citizen, Mr. Scott Snipp, entered the water and freed the victim. Their actions likely saved the victim’s life. Mr. Scott Snipp also received the Sheriff’s Citizen Service Award for his actions. Deputy Rodgers began his employment with the Sheriff’s Office in 2017, and is assigned to patrol.
lifesaving efforts
Our other recipient of the Sheriff’s Lifesaving Award is Deputy Patrolman Tim Pace. On April 22, Deputy Pace assisted Maryville Police Department on a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Tuckaleechee Pike and East Lamar Alexander Parkway. Deputy Pace and Maryville Police Department Cpl. Elizabeth Riffle performed CPR on the victim until Maryville Fire Department and AMR Ambulance Service arrived. A paramedic with Maryville Fire Department said “The early actions taken by Deputy Pace and Cpl. Riffle likely facilitated a successful medical response providing critical, life-sustaining oxygenated blood throughout his cardiac system.” Had Deputy Pace and
Cpl. Riffle not intervened, it is likely the man’s prognosis would have been drastically different. Deputy Pace has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since 2016 and is assigned to patrol.
livesaving efforts
Sheriff James Lee Berrong is proud of each of these deputies and of Mr. Scott Snipp for going above and beyond!
Images courtesy of BCSO.
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GCSO Employee Spotlight Detention Officer Wilson Giorgione

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Our Sheriff’s Office employs just over 100 people including sworn deputies, 911 dispatchers, detention officers, and civilian employees serving Gilmer County. While a lot of you know someone that works here, we are recognizing employees on our page to give more people the opportunity to meet “us.”

This week, we would like to introduce you to Detention Officer Wilson Giorgione. Wilson has been employed with GCSO for just under one year and works in our Detention Center.

Wilson is a 2019 graduate of Sonoraville High School in Calhoun, Georgia. Landscaping was his very first job.

The only hobby Wilson has listed is “working out.” He says his favorite movie is “John Wick,” his favorite food is “grilled chicken and white rice,” and says his favorite place to vacation is Florida. He said his favorite thing about his job here at GCSO is his coworkers.

He didn’t have an answer when asked what is one thing most people don’t know about him, but one of his coworkers answered for him and simply says he is an “absolute 100% sweetheart.” We also learned that Wilson is named after his maternal grandfather, Darrell Wilson, who is a retired Asst. District Attorney from our Appalachian Judicial Circuit.

It is truly encouraging to see people like Wilson beginning their law enforcement careers at such an early age!

 

(article and photos provided by the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Department)

If you’re enjoying the Sunday Edition, then consider becoming a contributor with your own articles. If you have an article that needs highlighting send it to lonnie@fetchyournews.com to become a part of our growing community of feature news.

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