CORRYTON, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County Sheriff’s Office took a moment to honor Deputy Tucker Blakley during an academy graduation ceremony.
On Thursday, 24 men and women graduated from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Regional Academy. It’s an exciting time as they get ready to protect and serve their community, but it also comes with a somber reminder of the sacrifice they will face every day on the job.
While they celebrated this momentous occasion, they also took a moment to honor one of their own, Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy Tucker Blakley. He died after he was shot while responding to a domestic call in the Hardin Valley area around 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 3.
Members of this year’s Knox County Sheriff’s Office Regional Training Academy were shown a video from Deputy Tucker Blakley’s funeral in October.
“If it was easy, then everyone would want to do it and it’s not easy,” said Sheriff Spangler. “It’s dangerous and it’s even more dangerous than it has been, and we’ll continue to make sure they understand that.”
Not too long ago, Blakely stood on the same stage at Clear Springs Baptist Church for his Acadamy graduation that these graduates stood on. His funeral was on the stage as well.
To honor Blakley, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office officially retired his unit number, “Echo-19.”
“We want those individuals to know that that number is there blank and it’s there for a reason when it’s on the lineup, and that way it’s recognized each and every day,” said Spangler.
Blakley’s wife, Katarina, was there to whiteness the moment.
“It made it very special,” Spangler added.
Spangler said this is a reminder to these graduates of their commitment to their community and one another.
Ten of the graduates will be continuing their law enforcement career with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. The other 12 will be going to surrounding county law enforcement agencies.