WEMA tests sirens for system upgrade

Wilson County Emergency Management Agency officials sent out a series of social media notifications last week to alert residents they planned to test the outdoor warning sirens in various areas.

According to WEMA director Joey Cooper, it was to test the sirens so they could be upgraded from analog to digital.

“WEMA has an older system that has not been updated in a number of years,” said Cooper. “The current system is a one-way analog system, and upon activation, there is no way on knowing if they were actually activated without actually hearing it.”

The Wilson County Commission voted on and passed funding for the upgrade to the digital system in June. The new system will allow emergency managers and public safety officials activate and monitor the status of the system.

“The radio shop has been going around to each siren for several months now upgrading the hardware to make the needed upgrade,” said Cooper. “The last two weeks, they’ve been installing the needed software and testing the sirens on an individual and on a zone basis.”

According to Cooper, WEMA officials to be finished with the upgrades and testing by the end of the week.

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

9 teens charged in car burglaries

14-17-year-old teens found in Nashville area, some at McGavock High School

Photo courtesy of Mt. Juliet police
Multiple teens were taken into custody for their role in a series of car burglaries in Mt. Juliet.

Mt. Juliet police officers charged several teens Tuesday morning for their involvement in a series of car burglaries in Mt. Juliet.

After a three-month long investigation, Mt. Juliet police, Metro-Nashville police, Brentwood police and Wilson County sheriff’s detectives were able to recover 12 cars, eight guns, a bullet-resistant vest, several electronic devices and other items apparently stolen by the teens in the series of burglaries.

The nine boys arrested were found in the Nashville area. Five were at McGavock High School, two were at home in Hermitage and two were already in custody at an unnamed detention facility. The teens ranged in age from 14-17 years old.

According to Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler, detectives were able to identify the suspects through the help of the community and local news media. Many tips came in from the community after home surveillance video was released, and acting on those tips, detectives were able to identify those responsible.

“Partnership with our community is key, and I’m thankful that our community has the trust in us to give us information to help solve crimes,” said Mt. Juliet police Chief James Hambrick. “Today is a result of community partnerships, a good working relationship with or law enforcement partners and fantastic investigative work. I truly hope other youth, who are thinking about committing crime, understand that there are consequences to their actions.”

Each of the teens was charged with various crimes related to theft of property, vehicle burglary and conspiracy to commit vehicle burglary.

Hambrick said he urged people the community to continue to always lock their cars and never leave valuables inside, which include firearms and electronic devices.

$5,000 reward offered in gun store burglary

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with the Mt. Juliet Police Department and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, offered a reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for stealing guns from nRange in Mt. Juliet.

On Nov. 26, nRange at 9904 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet was broken into, and about 16 guns were reported stolen to Mt. Juliet police. ATF investigators were in the process of determining the exact number of guns stolen.

ATF offers a reward of up to $2,500, which will be matched by the NSSF for a total of up to $5,000.

Anyone with information may contact the ATF at 800-283-4867, the Mt. Juliet police tip line at 615-754-8477 or at mjpd.org to submit anonymously. Information may also be sent to the ATF via the mobile app reportit.com by using the Nashville field division as the location.

Staff Reports

Four teens captured, stolen gun recovered after chase

Four teenage boys were arrested early Tuesday morning after Mt. Juliet police officers chased a stolen car into Nashville where officers used a spike strip to stop the car.

According to Mt. Juliet police Cpt. Tyler Chandler, the chase began when an officer saw a driver commit a traffic violation on Mt. Juliet Road. When the officer tried to stop the car, which was confirmed stolen out of Nashville, it fled.

Mt. Juliet officers chased the car to Briley Parkway in Nashville where Metro-Nashville officers used spike strips to stop the car.

After stopping, four passengers ran from officers on foot but were caught.

A gun, reported stolen from a Rutherford County gun store, was found in the car.

Detectives responded to the scene to process evidence, and the investigation remained ongoing.

Staff Reports

Kenny Martin: Protect against crime during the holidays

Kenny Martin
City Manager
Mt. Juliet

With the holiday season upon us, we should take advantage of and use any and all extra crime prevention, safety and security measures available to prevent becoming the victim of a crime. One such measure is to be on the lookout for drunk drivers. The number of drunk or drinking drivers increases around the holiday season.

If one intends on drinking, he or she should plan ahead and get a ride to and from an event, if for some reason you end up drinking and didn’t plan on doing so, simply either stay where you are and call either a friend, family member or a taxi cab to carry you home. Taking these measures will save you money, accidents, injuries, jail time and even your life.

Another measure to take is to use common sense. During the holiday season, thieves and burglars scope out local subdivisions and parking lots looking for Christmas gifts stored in vehicles or left on front porches. When shopping or storing gifts in your vehicle, always either cover the gifts or store them out of sight or in the trunk of your vehicle.

Never leave gifts in your vehicle overnight, unless locked away and out of sight. Preferably never leave valuables or weapons in your vehicle when unlocked and never when the vehicle is unlocked. Preferably never leave anything of value and especially weapons when the vehicle is unattended.

Another thing to consider is the day after Christmas. Drive through any subdivision or community the day after Christmas, and you’ll notice lots of empty boxes at the curb of people’s yards and driveways. These boxes usually have things like 70-inch high-definition televisions, hi-fi stereos and sound systems or any other expensive brand name you can think of on the box.

This is a bad practice that should be avoided if at all possible. This practice simply advertises to any thief or burglar that you just received more valuables for him or her to steal. If you have boxes the day after Christmas, simply break down the boxes and place them in trash bags. This may seem like quite a bit of work, but it is well worth the effort.

In closing, don’t make burglarizing your home or automobile easy for a thief or burglar. Who knows, maybe if we make it tough enough on them, they’ll actually get jobs and buy the gifts themselves like the rest of us.

Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.

Jury finds Shepard guilty

Former Wilson Central softball coach to be sentenced in January

Angie Mayes • Mt. Juliet News
Defense attorney Adam Parrish makes closing remarks in the Michael Shepard trial Friday.

The jury in the Michael Shepard case deliberated and hour and a half Friday morning before it returned a guilty verdict on both counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.

Shepard, who was 36 at the time of the two incidents, had sex with a 16-year-old Wilson Central High School student. Shepard was the softball coach at the school, and the victim was one of the players.

Two days of testimony from the victim, her parents, law enforcement and a teammate, proved the district attorney’s case that Shepard was still an authority figure over the victim, even though he was not actively coaching her when the incidents took place, which was the defense Shepard’s attorney used.

Shepard and the victim had sex two times at a boat ramp off Highway 109, she said on the stand. He did not force her, and she did not protest, Assistant District Attorney Tom Swink said, which meant he did not “rape” her.

However, state law defines statutory rape by and authority figure as sexual intercourse of a child between 13-17 years old by someone more than four years older than the victim. Since she was 16 and Shepard was 20 years older, that fact fit into the law, Swink said.

Adam Parrish, Shepard’s attorney, argued because the school year was over and she was not his student or her coach at the time of the incidents, nor did the incidents happen on school grounds or at a school event, he wasn’t an authority figure over her.

Defense witness Kayla Varner, who referred to Shepard as “coach” throughout her testimony, said she still calls him coach because he is an authority figure and is like a father figure to her.

In closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Justin Harris said the relationship, which was admitted by the defendant, was an “unlawful sexual relationship,” and Shepard was an authority figure. That proof is because he is in a “position of trust, occupational or legal status,” according to Harris.

“He is her coach,” Harris said. “He has a duty to protect and train her, to take care of her. She viewed him as her coach. Who initiated the messages and the sex? We’ve heard Shepard was a Christian, that he was an authority figure and was a good guy. She looked up to him. “

Harris then pointed to a text from Shepard, which read in part, “I’ll never push you away…I worry about how close we are…if this is healthy or unhealthy…I love you to death and will do anything to protect you.”

Harris then referred to other positions when he said, “a preacher is not just a preacher on Sunday. He is a preacher all week. Mr. Shepard is a coach all year. She wants to make him happy and be the best that she can be. He made it illegal.”

Parrish argued the jury had heard some emotional testimony and they were probably emotional about the situation. However, he said, “you need to look at the facts. I pray that you have feelings, but you must not let your heart make the decision. Let logic make it.  Was it illegal? Absolutely. But he wasn’t in a power of trust or authority at the time.”
He alluded male students rarely complain when they have sex with female teachers.

“Why is that?” Parris asked. “This case is no difference. The actions of [the victim] are what this is about. I’m not saying she’s a bad girl or anything. The occasion is wrong, but that is not why we’re here. I’m not here to attack a great kid, a very mature kid.”

Swink then offered a lesser inclusion of aggravated statutory rape for the jury to consider. But the jury ignored it. Instead, they agreed on the top two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.

After the verdict, Swink said, “justice was done for this victim for this family.”

The family was relieved after the verdict.

“We’re very pleased with the district attorney’s case and the way he represented us,” said the victim’s father.

Parrish was not available for comment after the verdict was read.

Shepard will be sentenced Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. in Wilson County criminal court Judge Brody Kane’s courtroom.

By Angie Mayes

Special to The Democrat

Wilson County 911 Board continues co-location talks

 

Jacob Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Members of the Wilson County 911 Board talk about co-locating dispatchers to the 911 office during their monthly meeting Monday.

The Wilson County Emergency Communications 911 Board discussed the logistics for the proposed co-location plan that involves other Wilson County emergency agencies during its monthly meeting Monday afternoon.

Director Karen Moore introduced Jimmy Lichtenstein from AT&T to talk about the proposed dispatch systems for the co-location.

According to Lichtenstein, the Wilson County location would receive eight desktop locations, as well as eight phone locations for dispatchers, for any of the emergency departments that were located there.

“If you co-locate, then we can make better use of the hardware,” said Lichtenstein. “There’s cost savings there.”

Lichtenstein said the new system could be installed once it was ready within 30-45 days.

Representatives from Mt. Juliet police and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency were at the meeting to see how the proposed plan would affect their agencies.

Board chair David Hale believed the co-location should happen around the same time the new system would be installed to save money.

“If we’re going to, and I believe we are going to, move forward with co-location, I believe we should schedule all this so it all occurs at the same time,” said Hale.

Also discussed at the meeting were the building plans to determine if the building can fit enough dispatch stations to house multiple emergency departments.

“All of you know me well, and you know that I believe in doing business with hometown folks,” said Hale. “If you’re from somewhere else when the building’s done, you can pack up and go home. If you’re here and you have to look at it every day, you’re more apt to be mindful of what you’re constructing.”

The board voted on the four proposals it had received and chose Studio Oakley Architects for the design.

After voting on the proposals board member and former Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe moved to go to recess subject to the call of the chair, which means the board won’t officially adjourn until Hale calls the board back for another meeting.

Ashe felt this would give the board time to discuss what Studio Oakley could do before moving forward.

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Sheriff’s deputies do no-shave November for Wilson Warriors

Wilson County sheriff’s deputies and investigators will participate in no-shave November as a way to raise money for Wilson Warriors.

Each officer will give $20 to participate and grow a beard during November. All profits will go to Wilson Warriors.

Wilson Warriors is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping military veterans in Wilson County.

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Mt. Juliet man indicted in two bank robberies in Colorado

Photo courtesy of Boulder County Sheriff’s Office via The Daily Camera
The suspect in a robbery of the Bank of the West branch in Lyons, Colorado is caught on surveillance video.

BOULDER, Colo. (MCT) – A Mt. Juliet bank robbery suspect in custody in Kentucky was indicted for two bank robberies in Colorado committed in July, including one that took place in Lyons, Colorado according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver.

According to a news release, James Wilbert Gray, 25, was arrested in Texas after he was first charged with a bank robbery in Kentucky. He was subsequently indicted by a Denver federal grand jury Sept. 26 for two robberies in Colorado.

The indictment alleged Gray robbed the TCB Bank in Keenesburg, Colorado on July 24 and also robbed the Bank of the West in Lyons, Colorado on July 27.

Gray faces two counts of bank robbery, Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer and Denver Division of the FBI Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers said. Gray made his initial court appearance at U.S. District Court in Texas and will be transferred to Colorado after the case in Kentucky is resolved, according to the release.

Both bank robberies carry a potential penalty of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution.

By Charlie Brennan

The Daily Camera

Wilson County 911 Board talks renovation in work session

Jacob Smith • Mt. Juliet News
The Wilson County 911 Board held a work session Monday to discuss potential contractors for the renovation of its current building.

The Wilson County 911 Board discussed the proposals it received for architectural services for remodeling and renovation of the building at 1611 W. Main St. in Lebanon during a Monday work session.

The renovation in question is for potential co-location of emergency communications and dispatching by additional agencies. Wilson County Emergency Management Agency, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Mt. Juliet Police Department and Lebanon Police Department have all expressed interest in co-location.

The board is looking into the possibility of renovating its current building to make enough space to co-locate there.

The board received four proposals from companies that included background information, qualifications, experience and other information.

While a decision won’t formally be made until next week’s board meeting, there was much discussion about what the next step in the process would be. Of particular interest was the cost.

“The only thing I’m trying to do here is stay inside the money,” said former Wilson County sheriff and board vice chairman Terry Ashe. “Let’s see what we can do in our building. If we get in here and it’s jammed up really tight, then maybe we can get some help with the expansion project.”

The board won’t make a decision on how to go forward with the project until its monthly meeting Monday.

“I would hope that on Monday we can come in here with all hearts and minds clear and say, ‘Here’s who we are interested in; let’s now send to them our grocery list,’” said board chairman David Hale. “We need to find out how much it’s going to cost, and if we’re not satisfied with their contract they send us, we can always look somewhere else.”

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Police receive blanket donation from Rotary Club

Jacob Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet police received 75 vacuum-sealed blankets Monday from the Mt. Juliet Noon Rotary Club.

Mt. Juliet police received a donation of 75 vacuum-sealed blankets Monday from the Mt. Juliet Noon Rotary Club.

The gift was part of an annual service project done by members of the club called the Blankets for Badges program.

Police Chief James Hambrick and Capt. Tyler Chandler were present to accept the gift.

“The idea for the winter service project was that we would provide blankets for the Mt. Juliet Police Department to keep in their cruisers,” said Rotarian Chris Graham. “So when they come across someone in need they have something to give them.”

The project was funded by donations from Mt. Juliet Noon Rotary Club members.

The club meets each Monday at noon at Victory Baptist Church.

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Police receive blanket donation from Rotary Club

Jacob Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet police received 75 vacuum-sealed blankets Monday from the Mt. Juliet Noon Rotary Club.

Mt. Juliet police received a donation of 75 vacuum-sealed blankets Monday from the Mt. Juliet Noon Rotary Club.

The gift was part of an annual service project done by members of the club called the Blankets for Badges program.

Police Chief James Hambrick and Capt. Tyler Chandler were present to accept the gift.

“The idea for the winter service project was that we would provide blankets for the Mt. Juliet Police Department to keep in their cruisers,” said Rotarian Chris Graham. “So when they come across someone in need they have something to give them.”

The project was funded by donations from Mt. Juliet Noon Rotary Club members.

The club meets each Monday at noon at Victory Baptist Church.

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Two-car crash causes fire on South Mt. Juliet Road

Mark Bellew • All Hands Fire Photos
A two-car crash caused one vehicle to catch fire on South Mt. Juliet Road on Friday afternoon. Authorities believe the driver fled the scene.

A two-car crash Friday afternoon caused one vehicle to catch on fire, which temporarily closed one lane of traffic on South Mt. Juliet Road.

Fire crews were called to the scene at about 4:30 p.m. to fight a fully involved car fire while police attempted to find the driver of the vehicle that caught fire.

Authorities believed the driver may have fled the scene, but investigators believe a witness may have gotten a picture or video of the suspect.

Staff Reports

Hambrick appears on Huckabee talk show to talk race relations

James Hambrick

Mt. Juliet police Chief James Hambrick appeared on the “Huckabee Show” last weekend to discuss police and racial relations in America.

The “Huckabee Show” debuted on the Trinity Broadcasting Network on Oct. 7 and features former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee as he interviews guests in a late night show setting.

“This program is a place where we talk to newsmakers and celebrities in a civil and respectful manner, as well as introduce America to some not-so-famous people whose stories remind us that the greatness of our nation is about the people who love God, raise their families and serve their neighbors,” Huckabee said.

Hambrick was Huckabee’s second featured guest on the show after former Three Dog Night lead vocalist Chuck Negron appeared previously. He said show producers learned about him through the internet and asked him to appear on the show to discuss policing and race relations in America.

“It’s not about James Hambrick. I represent Mt. Juliet. I represent Wilson County, so to have that honor of being on the show is good for Wilson County as a whole. It’s an honor,” Hambrick said.

Prior to the show, Hambrick said he didn’t know exactly what Huckabee would ask him, but he believes two things will cure the ills of police and race relations in the country.

“Love and respect for humanity and for your fellow man. I’ve been hearing a lot of talk here lately about how we have to understand one another. Whether that’s partially true, I don’t think that’s where the ultimate goal should be. I think our ultimate goal should be love and respect, because I can understand you and still not love and respect you,” Hambrick said.

Hambrick became an ordained minister in 1994 and said there’s one goal for his appearance on Huckabee’s show.

“My ultimate thing is to make Christ known. It’s about understanding who we are and being real and knowing we have things that are trying to divide races. Only Christ can bring that total healing back,” he said. “I tell people all the time, just because I’m a pastor, I don’t go around these hallways just preaching all day. I try to live my life and be an example and reflection of Christ.”

The show aired Saturday at 7 p.m. on TBN. For more information, visit tbn.org/huckabee.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Police, sheriff’s deputies combine for National Coffee with a Cop Day

Officers meet with public over churros at El Rey Azteca

Jacob Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet police and Wilson County sheriff’s deputies participate last Wednesday in National Coffee with a Cop Day at El Rey Azteca in Mt. Juliet. Churros were served, as well as coffee.

Mt. Juliet police and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office combined last Wednesday morning for National Coffee with a Cop Day at El Rey Azteca in Mt. Juliet.

In addition, Lebanon police had its own event last Wednesday morning at J. Clayborn’s Bakery in Lebanon. 

Both events were held from 7-9 a.m. and invited members of the community to come out and talk to members of the police forces while enjoying coffee and breakfast.

Tons of community members showed up to the Mt. Juliet event, including Barbara McIntyre from Murfreesboro.

“I think the event’s a great success,” said McIntyre. “It brings the community and law enforcement together, so we know what the officers are like that we’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis.”

McIntyre said even though she lives in Murfreesboro, she attended the Mt. Juliet Citizen’s Academy and likes the sense of community she has with Mt. Juliet police.

“They show you pretty much what the officers go through on a day-to-day basis,” said McIntyre. “You ride patrol with an officer, so you’re actually seeing what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis.”

Lt. Tyler Chandler, public information officer with the Mt. Juliet police, said the event was a way for citizens to develop a more personal relationship with their police officers.

“It’s gone great. Normally we do this the third Friday of the month, but this month for the national day, we’ve done it on this Wednesday,” said Chandler. “It’s been great. You know, Memo, the owner here, wanted to have Coffee with a Cop here, and we tried to put a Mexican restaurant theme on it with the churros with a cop, so we’ve got churros out.”

Although, the event was held by the Mt. Juliet Police Department, Chandler said he’s happy Wilson County sheriff’s deputies were able to attend.
“The sheriff’s office is invited anytime they want to come out,” said Chandler. “They can come to any one of our events. Typically, we have one or two sheriff’s deputies at our events. For this event, with schools out, a lot of their [school resource officers who] work this end of the county came out.”

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Mt. Juliet police to participate in National Coffee with a Cop Day

Mt. Juliet police will join other departments across the nation and have Coffee with a Cop on Wednesday as part of National Coffee with a Cop Day.

The event will be from 7-9 a.m. at El Rey Azteca Mexican Restaurant at 1319 N. Mt. Juliet Road. The restaurant will introduce churros, a traditional Spanish pastry, at the event.

The public is invited to attend. Police Chief James Hambrick, his leadership team and officers will have coffee in hand and ready to enjoy conversation. Coffee with a Cop is an opportunity for the public to meet with officers in a relaxed environment and talk about anything – from crime issues to neighborhood programs, public safety management to how to join the force.

The Coffee with a Cop program is a non-traditional way to generate conversation between the police department and community it serves. This event allows the public to interact with police officers, including Hambrick, in an informal setting to ask questions or address concerns with local law enforcement.

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet police to participate in National Coffee with a Cop Day

Mt. Juliet police will join other departments across the nation and have Coffee with a Cop on Oct. 4 as part of National Coffee with a Cop Day.

The event will be from 7-9 a.m. at El Rey Azteca Mexican Restaurant at 1319 N. Mt. Juliet Road. The restaurant will introduce churros, a traditional Spanish pastry, at the event.

The public is invited to attend. Police Chief James Hambrick, his leadership team and officers will have coffee in hand and ready to enjoy conversation. Coffee with a Cop is an opportunity for the public to meet with officers in a relaxed environment and talk about anything – from crime issues to neighborhood programs, public safety management to how to join the force.

The Coffee with a Cop program is a non-traditional way to generate conversation between the police department and community it serves. This event allows the public to interact with police officers, including Hambrick, in an informal setting to ask questions or address concerns with local law enforcement.

Staff Reports

Police find meth lab during domestic dispute call

Photo courtesy of Facebook
Mt. Juliet police officers discover a small, one-pot-style meth lab in a car on Whitnell Drive during a response to a domestic dispute call.

During a routine response to a domestic dispute last Wednesday, Mt. Juliet police officers found a small methamphetamine lab.

Mt. Juliet officers were called to the 200 block of Whitnell Drive in reference to a domestic-related argument at around 10:40 a.m.

While investigating, officers found an active, one-pot-style meth lab in a minivan parked in the driveway of the home at 226 Whitnell Drive.

Hazmat units were called in to decontaminate the scene and properly dispose of the potentially dangerous materials.

A 32-year-old man, who was involved in the domestic dispute, had burns on his leg, which he received prior to Wednesday’s incident. After he was decontaminated, he was taken to an area hospital for treatment. 

According to Mt. Juliet police Lt. Tyler Chandler, no arrests were made Thursday in connection with the meth lab, but charges remained pending.

Staff Reports

Citizen, officer team to catch car burglary suspect

An apparent car burglar was caught after a citizen kept watch on his location and reported it to Mt. Juliet police.

A citizen spotted the suspect getting in unlocked vehicles in the parking lot of Academy Sports on Pleasant Grove Road on Sunday at around 10:30 a.m.

The citizen kept an eye on the suspect and reported his location as the suspect checked for unlocked cars in the parking lot.

An officer patrolling the area arrested the suspect, Estifanos Kumssa, 18, of Antioch, in the parking lot.

Further investigation revealed Kumssa entered two unlocked vehicles in the store parking lot, and he stole a pair of sunglasses from one of those vehicles.

Officers also found marijuana and illegal drug paraphernalia inside Kumssa’s car.

Kumssa was charged with two counts of burglary, theft of property, simple possession of schedule VI drugs and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and booked in at the Wilson County Jail on $12,000 bond.

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet police play host to Private Officer Memorial Service

Photo courtesy of Facebook
The Private Officer Memorial Service was held at the Mt. Juliet Police Department on Wednesday night. The event was dedicated to private police and security officers who died in the line of duty.

Mt. Juliet police played host to the Private Officer Memorial Service on Wednesday night.

Private Officer International Nashville Chapter 301 held the service as a way to honor fallen private police and security officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

“In the last year, we had 94 police officers die in the line of duty,” said chapter president Mike Thornhill, chief of security at Cumberland University. “We also had 110 security officers die.”

Several members of the police force, as well as the community, attended the event, which was held the Mt. Juliet Police Department for the second year in a row.

“[Mt. Juliet Police] Chief [James] Hambrick is also a member of our chapter, and we’re thankful to him for letting us use his facility,” said Thornhill. “[State Rep.] Mark Pody has always been a big supporter of ours and so has [state Rep.] Susan Lynn.”