NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Six men and women were honored as the Metro-Nashville Police Department’s Employees of the Year for 2015.
Chief Steve Anderson said with 1,900 dedicated employees, it’s often hard to choose the winners.
“The six persons we honored today are representative of the commitment shared by the men and women of the MNPD to maintain and enhance Nashville’s safety. I am very proud of their work,” Chief Anderson said.
Officer Jonathan Frith – Patrol Officer of the Year
Officer Frith was among the first officers to enter the Antioch movie theater last August when a hatchet-yielding man began attacking moviegoers.
Metro police say Frith knew the potential danger yet there was no hesitation in his actions. He assumed the role of a team leader and orchestrated the officers’ response and tactics, entering the theater while the suspect was inside.
MORE: Antioch theater attack
Frith heard three loud pops from his “blind side” and fired at the suspect as he backed out the theater door. He and other officers then kept the suspect contained until SWAT officers arrived.
Officer Matthew Cammarn – Police Officer of the Year
Officer Cammarn is credited with saving the life of a 17-year-old who was shot on North Eighth Street last summer.
Metro police said he was on patrol nearby when the shooting happened so he was the first to arrive. The teenager was shot in his upper thigh and a major artery was struck.
Cammarn immediately applied a tourniquet from his medical kit, which controlled the bleeding until medical personnel arrived.
In a letter of commendation, Captain John Narramore with the Nashville Fire Department said, “It was the opinion of all medical personnel involved that Officer Cammarn’s quick action and proper procedure was the only reason we had a patient rather a fatality.”
Cammarn said it felt great, but “that’s our job,” adding, “We are guardians. We’re not warriors going out there looking for trouble. We are guardians of the civilians.”
Detective Mike Roland – Investigative Services Bureau Investigator of the Year
Detective Roland led the investigation into last fall’s brutal beat deaths of a couple inside an east Nashville apartment.
The victims were found wrapped in bedspreads inside a close with various items on top to conceal them.
The investigation led to the arrests of Brandon Griswold and Whitney Gray a few days later in south Nashville.
During interviews, both suspects gave detailed confessions. They’ve since been charged with criminal homicide.
Detective Lindsay Smith – Precinct Investigator of the Year
“Meticulous investigation” by Detective Smith resulted in the arrest of Mallory Porter, who is accused of murdering Gilbert “Gizzy” Fowler, a transwoman.
Fowler was found dead inside her car in the driveway of an unoccupied home in November 2014.
Detective Smith began her investigation with little to go on but she ultimately linked Porter to the area of the homicide via phone and IP address records, as well as forensic evidence.
Metro police say her courtroom testimony was praised by both the District Attorney’s Office and the victim’s family.
Officer Josh Black – Special Operations Officer of the Year
Officer Black is credited with developing a rapport with someone who lived inside a north Nashville home while he was there to search for two violent fugitives.
Metro police say the officer received calls from the resident at all hours that night and following morning, ultimately finding out the suspects would be a tattoo shop in Dickerson Pike for an extended period of time.
Both men, one on federal probation for stealing weapons from law enforcement vehicles, were taken into custody.
Officer Black is credited with working both on and off the clock to get the “dangerous individuals off of Nashville’s streets.”
Ms. Jackie Hoffman – Professional Support Employee of the Year
Prior to her retirement, Ms.Hoffman was the Assistant Director of Human Resources and worked with the department for 43 years.
“Over the past four decades, if anyone had a question about a personnel-related issue, from hiring to pay to policy, Ms. Hoffman has been the go-to person,” said Chief Anderson.
Her knowledge of the department is considered invaluable, along with her kind and helpful responses to anyone who needed assistance.
“Ms. Hoffman has truly defined what it means to work together to achieve the best outcome for all,” Anderson said.
Despite her Feb. 1 retirement, she has agreed to stay on part-time and continues to be an asset to all department employees.