On September 9, State Senator Becky Duncan Massey (R-Knoxville) joined Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Safety Commissioner Jeff Long to host the award ceremony. The award came about thanks to legislation spearheaded by Massey that was passed in 2014. It honors public servants who have lost their lives or suffered career-ending injuries in the line of duty.
“I was honored to help present the Three Stars of Tennessee Award with Gov. Bill Lee and Commissioner Jeff Long to recognize our peace officers, first responders and firefighters who have died in the line of duty or suffered career-ending injuries this past year,” said Massey. “We are extremely grateful for the service and sacrifice of these great Tennesseans to protect others and keep their communities safe.”
During this year’s ceremony, 14 recipients were honored and memorialized with the “Three Stars of Tennessee Award”, including Jenkins. The full ceremony can be watched here.
“We are so blessed to live in this great country and state,” said Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long. “The freedoms we enjoy today are in-part due to the ultimate sacrifices Tennessee law enforcement and first responders have made on our behalf. Today, we pause and reflect on their exceptional service they gave their fellow Tennesseans in the name of safety. Our hearts and prayers are with the 14 families who were presented the Three Stars of Tennessee Award. We will never forget them.”
On February 3, 2022, Jenkins was fatally struck by a tractor-trailer as he was removing a ladder from the roadway. He served the Loudon County Sherriff’s Department for 20 years, going from a corrections officer, to patrol, to K-9 handler. Those close to Jenkins said never knew a stranger. He was known for his contagious smile and sense of humor.
The other officers honored were
- Volunteer Firefighter Roger Estes with the South Claiborne Volunteer Fire Department
- Master Trooper Vince Mullins with the Tennesee Highway Patrol
- Deputy Matthew Stephen Locke with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department
- Officer Greg Triplett with the Waverly Police Department
- Deputy Dale Wyman with the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office
- Officer Edgar Albert Morris III with the Collierville Police Department
- Officer Darrell D. Adams with the Memphis Police Department
- Officer Corille Cortez Jones with the Memphis Police Department
- Officer Jimmie “Alex” Shindler with the Memphis Police Department
- Corrections Officer Lakiesha Tucker with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
- Corrections Deputy Willie Lois Dortch with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
- Corrections Deputy Bridgette Lachelle Hunter with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
- Lieutenant Terry Watts Shelby County Fire Department