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.”

Funeral held for Mt. Juliet Officer Brittany Frazier

Photo courtesy of Facebook
Visitation, funeral and interment were held Saturday for Mt. Juliet police Officer Brittany Frazier.

Visitation, funeral and interment for Officer Brittany Frazier were held last weekend.

Frazier, a member of the Mt. Juliet Police Department, was found dead at her home Sept. 9.

Visitation was Saturday from noon until 12:30 p.m. at Second Baptist Church at 777 Public Safety Lane in Clinton.

The funeral followed at the church, and her body was buried at Woodhaven Memorial Gardens in Powell.

Frazier received full honors, following non-line of duty death protocols.

The Mt. Juliet Police Department encouraged public safety friends and members of the public to attend the visitation and funeral services. Wilson County sheriff’s deputies patrolled Mt. Juliet on Saturday to allow officers to attend the funeral.

Staff Reports

Wanted felon charged with assault

Antawan Fizer

Mt. Juliet police officers charged a convicted felon last Monday for assaulting a woman.

Antawan Fizer, 37, of Hermitage, was charged with domestic assault, felony evading, misdemeanor evading, resisting arrest, driving on a revoked license, driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, simple possession of schedule I, II, III, IV and VII drugs, possession of a handgun while under the influence, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and violation of an order protection after an incident Monday night.

An officer was pumping gas at about 9:30 p.m. wheh he was flagged down about an active assault at the nearby Waffle House parking lot at 326 S. Mt. Juliet Road.

Bystanders described the incident to the officer who put out Fizer’s car’s description to other officers in the area.

Another officer saw Fizer turn onto Mt. Juliet Road and tried to stop it, sparking a chase.

The officer chased Fizer until Old Hickory Boulevard near Interstate 40, where he stopped and ran away from the car. The officer ran after him and used a Taser to stop him.

During a struggle with the officer, Fizer attempted to discard illegal drugs, and a gun fell out of his waistband.

Further investigation confirmed Fizer assaulted a 31-year-old woman passenger who was taken to the hospital for her injuries. An active order of protection was in place to keep Fizer away from the victim.

He was also in possession of multiple illegal drugs and paraphernalia. Fizer is a convicted felon with previous felony convictions of aggravated burglary and drug possession and had a revoked driver’s license for driving under the influence. There was also as active domestic assault warrant for his arrest out of Nashville.

Fizer was booked in at the Wilson County Jail, where he remained last Tuesday on $50,000 bond.

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet police to hold Coffee With a Cop

Mt. Juliet police will hold Coffee With a Cop on Friday from 7-9 a.m. at the Subway on Lebanon Road.

Police Chief James Hambrick, his leadership team and officers will be there with coffee ready to enjoy simple conversation with the Mt. Juliet public.

According to Hambrick, the event is an opportunity for the public to meet with officers in a relaxed environment and talk about anything.

Anyone who attends will get a free cup of coffee.

“The simplicity is appealing. We show up, community members show up and then we talk over coffee,” said Hambrick. “It is a great was to build relationships with people in the community and hear about the concerns residents may have.”

Hambrick encouraged everyone to stop by to say hello Friday and have a free cup of coffee.

Staff Reports

Police mourn officer’s death

Brittany Frazier

TBI agents called in to investigate circumstances

Mt. Juliet police received the news Saturday morning Officer Brittany Frazier was found dead at her home.

At the department’s request, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents responded to investigate the matter. According to police, preliminary information indicated there was no foul play involved in Frazier’s death.

Frazier, 33, worked for Mt. Juliet police for just less than a year and previously served in law enforcement for several years prior to joining the department.

“Brittany was a caring and outgoing woman, who was dedicated to serving the Mt. Juliet community, and her presence always brightened any room she walked into. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, and we will ensure they receive whatever support is needed,” said Chief James Hambrick. “While our department family is hurting at the loss of Brittany, we are extremely grateful for the support we have received from our community, faith leaders, law enforcement partners and local businesses. She was well loved by all of us.”

Police spokesperson Lt. Tyler Chandler said the department does not plan to answer questions or provide any additional information regarding Frazier’s death “as we focus our efforts to support Brittany’s family and the men and women of the Mt. Juliet Police Department.”

Staff Reports

Multi-vehicle wreck shuts down I-40

A five-vehicle crash on Interstate 40 near mile-marker 232 just past the Highway 109 exit temporarily shut down both eastbound lanes Friday evening.

The wreck happened at about 5:30 p.m. and included one person temporarily trapped. Three Wilson Emergency Management Agency ambulances took three people to area hospitals.

According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the wreck was cleared by 7:20 p.m.

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet police detectives investigate burglary

Photo courtesy of Mt. Juliet police
Mt. Juliet detectives seek assistance to find a suspect who broke into Mario’s Market and stole several cartons of cigarettes.

Mt. Juliet detectives were called to Mario’s Market on Aug. 21 at about 6 a.m. when a cleaning crew noticed the front glass was broken.

Officers arrived to find the glass broken, a large rock inside the building and multiple cartons of cigarettes stolen.

Video surveillance caught the suspect in the act. Another nearby market’s surveillance captured the same suspect possibly trying to break into that store, as well.

Mt. Juliet police detectives asked anyone with information regarding the crime to call 615-754-2550. Information may also be give anonymously by calling 615-754-8477 or at mjpd.org.

Detectives seek credit card fraud suspect

Photo courtesy of Mt. Juliet police
Mt. Juliet detectives hope someone will recognize a suspect who fraudulently used stolen credit card information.

Mt. Juliet detectives hope someone will recognize a suspect who fraudulently used stolen credit card information.

On May 24, the victim noticed fraudulent activity on his credit card statement, and it was apparent the card information was fraudulently used at Publix at 11207 Lebanon Road to buy more than $2,000 worth of items the previous day.

Detectives tracked when the credit card was used and were able to get surveillance video of a suspected man who used the card.

If anyone has a feeling they possibly know the suspect responsible for the crime, they are encouraged to call Mt. Juliet police at 615-754-2550. Information may also be given anonymously by calling 615-754-8477 or at mjpd.org.

Staff Reports

Police aim to increase safety, awareness in first week of school

In an effort to keep children safe while heading to and from school this week, Mt. Juliet police will provide extra attention in school zones to raise awareness that school is back in session.

Officers have been assigned designated school zones before and after school for the first week, and they will focus on reduced speed limits in school zones, school bus stop-arm, texting while driving, seat belt and child passenger safety laws.

“The safety of children is our main priority,” said Chief James Hambrick. “Our officers will be focused on motorists who disregard laws that have been designed to protect children in school zones.”

Police officials encourage parents to visit their child’s school website to become familiar with the traffic plans for drop-off and pick-up at each school. Wilson County School’s website is wcschools.com.

To ensure school zones are safe this school year, Mt. Juliet Police officials offer the following suggestions:

• Allow for plenty of time in getting to school in the morning. As traffic volumes and congestion on the roadways increase, so does the length of time it takes to travel to a destination. Allowing more time by leaving earlier will help reduces stress, increases awareness and improve driving. Obey the posted speed limit signs and directional signs. This includes marked curbs. These signs and curb markings assist in the traffic flow into and out of the schools and assist in the safety of the students who walk and bike to school. One misplaced car can disrupt the traffic flow and the safety of students.

• Be patient. Impatience may lead to aggressive driving, rude or unwarranted behavior, pedestrian and bicycle collisions, and it creates traffic gridlock. Remember, everyone has the same goal in mind: to get children safely to and from school. Also remember, the habits exhibited in one’s driving and demeanor are typically passed on to children when they start driving.

• If driving children to school, have them ready to leave the car, with all of their belongings, when the car comes to a stop at the school. Backups and delays are caused when children have to get their backpacks and other items from the trunk or back seat of a car. Explore other alternatives such as carpool, ride-sharing, walking, or biking to school.

• Watch and obey the school crossing guards.  Crossing guards are provided to assist with school traffic and the safe crossing of students across the surrounding streets near each elementary school. Be on the lookout, be prepared to stop, and be prepared to follow their directions so children can get to and from school safely.

• Stopping for a school bus law: On two-lane roads, vehicles traveling in both directions must stop. On multi-lane roads that are paved across, vehicles traveling in each lane in both directions must stop. On a divided highway with unpaved space or any median or physical barrier, vehicles behind the bus in each lane must stop, while vehicles traveling in the opposite direction may proceed with caution.

Staff Reports

New police dog trained, ready to serve

Photo courtesy of Mt. Juliet police
After many weeks of training, Majlo, a 12-month-old Belgian Malinois-German shepherd mix, will join Cpl. James Owens on patrol.

The Mt. Juliet Police Department has welcomed a new furry, specially trained member to the department.

After many weeks of training, Majlo, a 12-month-old Belgian Malinois-German shepherd mix, will join Cpl. James Owens on patrol.

Last week, the two successfully completed their training.

Majlo is known as a “dual purpose” dog that has the capabilities of performing building searches, tracking missing persons or suspects, article searches, narcotics detection and criminal apprehensions. 

Owens and Majlo will work a flexible shift, designed to cover peak activity times within the city. They will patrol in a specially equipped SUV, outfitted with equipment to ensure Majlo is comfortable during his workday.

“Our police officers deserve the best possible tools to help them in their efforts to keep Mt. Juliet safe,” said Chief James Hambrick.

“Adding Majlo to our ranks improves our response capabilities and allows our officers to more effectively serve the community.”

Local Harvey Freeman Order of the Eastern Star Chapter 181 donated a bullet resistant vest.

Staff Reports

Police receive kits to help in opioid overdoses

Mt. Juliet police officers are now equipped with opioid overdose kits to administer to suspects, people or fellow officers when necessary.

The nasal spray is designed to reverse an opiate overdose within minutes, according to police officials.

“Nationwide, we are losing too many individuals from the opioid epidemic,” said Chief James Hambrick. “Our goal with the kits are to ensure officers are better prepared to respond to overdose incidents and have the tools they need to save another officer’s life if they become exposed to dangerous substances like fentanyl.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioids are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999.

Tennessee Department of Health data revealed 1,451 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses in 2015, which included 37 from Wilson County.

Personnel from the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency trained officers on how to identify the signs of an opioid overdose and how to property administer the nasal form of naloxone.

Anyone who suspects someone is suffering from an overdose should call 911.

Staff Reports

Police seek suspects using fake $100 bills

Photos courtesy of Mt. Juliet police
Mt. Juliet police seek to identify two men who tried to use fake $100 bills recently.

Mt. Juliet police seek to identify two men who tried to use fake $100 bills recently.

The suspects tried to use two fake $100 bills at Walgreens two weeks ago to buy Visa gift cards and other items.

Store employees called police, but the suspects left the store before officers arrived. Surveillance cameras captured footage of the incident.

Anyone with information about the suspects should contact Mt. Juliet police at 615-754-2550. Information may also be given anonymously by calling the tip line at 615-754-8477 or at mjpd.org.

Staff Reports

Police seek suspect in two burglaries

Mt. Juliet police seek to identify a suspect in two vehicle burglaries that happened May 28 in a restaurant parking lot.

During the burglaries, the suspect busted windows to steal purses left in plain view in the cars, according to police officials.

Credit cards stolen from the victims’ purses were quickly used at two gas stations in Lebanon before the victims cancelled them.

Detectives released photos taken from surveillance cameras that show the suspect using a victim’s credit card. Another person was seen in the suspect’s vehicle, which was possibly a 2000-2002 model tan Kia Optima.

According to police officials, vehicle burglary is often a crime of opportunity that can be prevented if there is no opportunity for the thief. Police encourage residents to never leave valuable items in plain view and to never leave their vehicle unlocked.

Anyone with information about the suspect should contact Mt. Juliet police at 615-754-2550. Information can also be provided anonymously by calling the tip line at 615-754-8477 or at mjpd.org.

Staff Reports

Changes in state’s ‘Move Over Law’ take effect

Tennessee drivers have a new law for driving state roadways with a shoulder as of Saturday as changes in the state’s “Move Over Law” took effect.

The “Move Over Law,” passed in 2006, requires drivers to motorists to move over into the adjacent lane of traffic, when safe to do so, or alternatively to slow down for emergency vehicles. The law was expanded in 2011 to include utility service equipment and vehicles.

The new law adds to the list any stationary motor vehicle that is on the shoulder, emergency lane or median when the vehicle has on flashing lights.

There were 131 citations issued in Wilson County for failure to move over from 2005-2014, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The penalty for violating the “Move Over Law” in Tennessee is a maximum fine of up to $500 and possibly up to 30 days in jail.

By Xavier Smith 

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Police announce security, traffic plan for Mt. Juliet’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration

A grand Fourth of July celebration is planned, and Mt. Juliet’s fireworks will launch at 9 p.m. from the Paddocks of Mt. Juliet shopping center.

Mt. Juliet police and fire will be on site. The fireworks presentation, presented by local nursery owner Tom Needham, will begin around 9 p.m. The fireworks will launch from the field between Academy Sports and Culver’s restaurant. The fireworks show can be visible along all parking lots connected to Mt. Juliet Road between Weston Driver and Providence Parkway; however, the best viewing area will be in the Paddocks of Mt. Juliet shopping center and surrounding area.

Mt. Juliet’s public safety teams expect large attendance and increased traffic. Several police officers will be present during the event for patrols and traffic control. With any large event, attendees should always be vigilant for suspicious activity. If anything suspicious is spotted, attendees are encouraged to say something and call police. To contact the police department’s non-emergency line, attendees can dial 311. In addition, the Fire Department of Mt. Juliet will have extra firefighters on hand near the fireworks launch site.

The fireworks show should end around 9:45 p.m., and a large amount of traffic will begin to exit out of parking lots along Mt. Juliet Road near the Interstate 40 interchange. Police officials developed a traffic plan, and advanced traffic signals will adapt to the increased traffic.

Pleasant Grove Road will be closed at Old Pleasant Grove Road to westbound traffic only during and after the fireworks show. Residents and visitors will be allowed access so they can get to neighborhoods along Pleasant Grove Road. Traffic will not be allowed to access Central Pike from Pleasant Grove Road.

During this event, roadways will see a major increase in traffic, so delays should be expected. Personal fireworks, alcoholic beverages, barbecue grills and parking on roadway medians won’t be allowed.

Lebanon will hold its fireworks show at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center. The fireworks show will begin at dusk at around 9 p.m. All pre-fireworks festivities will not be held this year.

Watertown will be have its annual Stars, Stripes and Squirtguns Parade, sponsored by the Watertown Chamber of Commerce, on July 4 at 3 p.m. Parade participants should line up at 2 p.m. at Watertown Elementary School or Round Lick Baptist Church. The parade will continue through Main Street in Watertown.

Watertown’s fireworks show will begin at 9 p.m. prior to the ballgames at Three Forks Community Park. Concessions will be available. There will be free watermelon and freeze pops.

When celebrating the Fourth of July at home, all three municipalities in Wilson County basically have the same laws regarding fireworks. The following are rules released recently by Lebanon police:

• Sales and use of fireworks are only permitted from June 20 through July 5. In Watertown, the dates are July 1-7.

• The use of fireworks are restricted to the hours of 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

• The sale and use of fireworks is restricted for anyone less than 18 years old.

• When posted, fireworks may be banned during dry weather conditions.

• It is unlawful to explode or ignite fireworks within 600 feet of any church, hospital, funeral home, public or private school or within 200 feet of where fireworks are stored, sold or offered for sale.

• Fireworks shall not be launched or fired onto the property of anyone who have not given permission.

• No person shall ignite or discharge any fireworks within or throw from a motor vehicle or at a motor vehicle or group of people.

Staff Reports