Today is Wednesday, August 16, 2017

TDOS remembers fallen troopers and officers

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 Former State Trooper and TBI Special Agent 1st Lt. William Eric Emmert

Badge number of Former Trooper Emmert retired

In observance of National Police Week, a special service was held Friday to pay tribute to Tennessee State Troopers and other law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. 

Tennessee Department of Safety (TDOS) Commissioner Dave Mitchell joined U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Ed Yarbrough, Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Mike Walker, members of THP’s Command Staff, current and former State Troopers and family members gathered for a special ceremony held at the Tennessee Department of Safety Headquarters, located at 1150 Foster Ave., in Nashville.

“Each May during National Police Week, we reflect on those who have died in the line of duty,” Mitchell said. “Although one week of the year is set aside for this special remembrance, the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice are fresh in our thoughts and prayers everyday.”

During the ceremony, Mitchell and Walker placed three wreaths in front of the Memorial Monument, which stands outside the Department of Safety Headquarters.  Yarbrough gave the keynote address, which was followed by the roll call of fallen officers.

THP’s Special Operations Unit provided a 21-gun salute, T.A.P.S. was played, and THP helicopters flew over the annual ceremony in a special formation with one peeling off to represent “the missing man.”

“Today we honor the brave Troopers and the more than 19,000 law enforcement officers who gave their life to protect their community,” Walker said. “Each has left a legacy of bravery and honor, but we must also remember and comfort their families, who were left with irreplaceable losses in their lives.”

Since the establishment of the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 1929, 38 Troopers have died in the line of duty. The first was Sgt. Charles Hash, who died April 11, 1930, after being injured while on motorcycle patrol in Shelby County. The most recent Trooper killed serving his community was Trooper Calvin Jenks. Jenks was shot and killed on Jan. 6, 2007, while making a traffic stop in Tipton County. 

The TDOS did not add any names to the THP Memorial this year, but Mitchell did recognize and honor former State Trooper and TBI Special Agent 1st Lt. William Eric Emmert. His parents reside in Lebanon. Emmert was killed in action Feb. 24, 2009, while serving his country in Mosul, Iraq.  He was deployed in January 2009 to serve as a platoon leader assigned to the 269th Military Police Company, 117th Military Police Battalion, of the Tennessee National Guard in Murfreesboro. 

“Lt. Emmert gave his life serving our nation in the war against terrorism,” Mitchell said. “All of those who knew Eric admired his commitment to serving his country and the citizens of Tennessee.”  During Friday’s ceremony, Walker officially ordered the retirement of Badge Number 206, the Tennessee Highway Patrol Badge issued to and worn by Emmert while he served as a State Trooper.

In announcing the retirement of the badge, Walker said, “By the authority vested in me as Colonel of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, I hereby order the retirement of THP Trooper Badge Number 206, issued to former Trooper William Eric Emmert. This badge shall never again be issued to or worn by any member of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, in honor and memory of Eric Emmert’s service to the State of Tennessee and the United States of America.”

A Fayetteville native, Emmert began his law enforcement career as a Tennessee State Trooper July, 2, 2000. He transferred to the TBI on Sept. 16, 2007.

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