Franklin Police Honored at “Knights in Blue” Gala; Country music superstar Naomi Judd guest presenter

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Saturday night, Franklin Police Officers and civilian employees were honored at the 5th Annual Knights in Blue Gala, a formal awards dinner hosted by the Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association.

The following Franklin Police employees were recognized at Saturday’s event, held at the Cool Springs Embassy:

  • The Chief Jackie Moore Service Award, given to the individual whose civic life is reflective of the service and values displayed throughout retired Franklin Police Chief Jackie Moore’s 46-year law enforcement career: Franklin Police Volunteer Craig Owens. With a service above self attitude, Mr. Owens volunteered 259 hours of his time last year in service to the citizens of Franklin and its police officers.
  • The Chief’s Award was presented to The Flex Team. “Since having the honor of joining the Franklin Police Department, this hard-working group of officers have gotten my attention and earned my respect,” said Chief Deborah Faulkner. “In addition to their day-in, day-out work, their special efforts in several very important cases have earned them this honor.” Members of the Flex team are Sergeant Scott Legieza, Officers Samantha Brooks, Jeff Carson, Clayton Cates, and Chris Harris. In addition to the team’s award, each member received The Chief’s Coin.
  • The Lifesaving Award is given to the employee who has engaged in a definitive action that clearly results in the saving or preservation of the life of another. On October 4, 2014, officers were dispatched to a report of an armed, intoxicated subject. The first arriving officer observed the subject place the barrel of a handgun into his mouth. He engaged the subject in conversation while a security perimeter was established, and after considerable conversation with the officer, the man put down his gun, and surrendered. That man is alive today because of Master Patrol Officer Brigham VanHook. 
  • For her role in providing invaluable assistance and support that night, Master Patrol Officer Jill Canovan was presented with a Commendation Certificate and Ribbon.
  • The Impact Award is given to the officer who demonstrates creative and innovative thinking and implements a plan of action that has a notable impact on the law enforcement profession. Williamson County resident and Country Music Icon Naomi Judd co-presented the award with Chief Faulkner. “It was an honor to have recently met this Officer at the Tennessee Legislature, where we both had the opportunity to testify on behalf of the Bill: Aron’s Law,” said Judd.

In 1998, Metropolitan Nashville Police Officer Terry Burnett, and his dog, Aron, encountered an armed & dangerous bank robber. During an exchange of gunfire, K9 Aron was shot several times; he later died. Officer Burnett attended Saturday’s awards ceremony.

Aron’s Law, prompted by Franklin Police K9 Officer Brett Spivy, is sponsored by Representative Jeremy Durham. If passed, the Bill will make the intentional killing of a police, fire, or search and rescue animal, a felony offense. “These animals are courageous, and extremely special to law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Judd told officers from the stage.

Chief Faulkner thanked event organizers Susan Minor, Jen Ross, and Celia Cates; event founder Charity Compton; along with dozens of sponsors and community leaders in attendance. “Your support of our officers and staff means more to us than you can possibly know. On behalf of the men and women who make up the Franklin Police Department, thank you.”


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