NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Metro-Nashville police officer and 20-year veteran injured on the job two years ago was honored Wednesday.
Detective John Downs is the 2016 recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Police Award for Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
The award is presented to an officer who has given outstanding service to the department and community despite a serious handicap, illness, or injury.
Downs was shot in the hip during a stand-off on Long Hunter Court in December 2014.
He was told he may never walk again, but thanks to multiple surgeries and rehabilitation, he’s walking and back to work with Metro’s special investigations division.
Mayor Megan Barry spoke, saying it’s always an honor to be with the people who serve us and keep us safe.
“His tenacity and his commitment to the police department and to the people of Nashville are things I never take for granted,” she said. “It makes me so proud to know what you did on the December night two years ago and what you’ve done since is exactly what makes our police officer so truly wonderful.”
Det. Downs took the podium a short time later, becoming emotional while thanking those close to him during his acceptance speech.
“Wow, guys. I guess you’ll probably hear this for the next few minutes, how thankful I am. There are many things to be thankful for,” he said.
The detective spoke to all the people who stepped to help him and his family, which included police officers from neighboring cities and even kindergartners who wrote him cards.
“All I can say is I am thankful. I appreciate everything,” he said.