KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knoxville Police Department handed out its October Officer of the Month awards as well as a unit commendation, a Lifesaving Award and an employee of the month award on Monday.
Officers Charles Roach, J.D. Sisk, Jonathan Harris and Tanner Sise were presented the October Officer of the Month Award for their collaborative work in identifying, locating and apprehending a suspect involved in over 15 business burglaries and one vehicle theft in the downtown area.
A bulletin seeking information on the identity of a man suspected of at least 12 business burglaries sent by Sisk and Harris drew Officer Roach’s attention. Upon identifying the suspect as Mark Cooper, Officer Roach immediately notified Central Business District officers, providing a detailed description of the suspect based on a prior interaction.
On Oct. 8 investigators Sisk and Harris and Officer Sise began an intensive search for the suspect. After a lengthy search, Sise, Harris and Sisk were able to locate Cooper in an abandoned brewery on Depot Street. The suspect had several articles of clothing that were used to hide his identity while committing the burglaries as well as property taken from several of those burglaries.
Cooper admitted to all 15 burglaries and one auto theft and additionally had a warrant out of Alabama for a parole violation. He is also suspected in several other burglary investigations that remain open and active.
Officer Drew Winstead earned the October Lifesaving Award for his quick and decisive action on October 30 that saved a man from choking. Officer Winstead was on a call at the Knox Area Rescue Ministry and performed the Heimlich maneuver on a man who was visibly choking.
After several thrusts, he was able to dislodge a piece of candy that had become lodged in the man’s airway.
The Organized Crime Unit earned the September Unit Commendation. The unit was responsible for the arrest of 13 individuals on numerous state and federal charges, recovered over 95 grams of heroin, more than one kilo of cocaine, 210 grams of meth, 12 guns and roughly $48,000 in cash.
Jackie Roberts, coordinator for the Family Justice Center, was recognized as the July employee of the month. Roberts, a 17-year veteran of the KPD, used training at the brand new Nashville Family Safety Center to reduce the initial navigation process for a victim at the center from around 45 minutes to about 15 minutes.
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