Tennessee Highway Patrol

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Tennessee Highway Patrol
Abbreviation THP
Tennessee State Police.jpg
Patch of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Agency overview
Formed December 14, 1929; 85 years ago (1929-12-14)
Preceding agency Tennessee State Police Force (1926–1929)
Employees 1,869 (as of 2004) [1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Tennessee, USA
Size 42,169 square miles (109,220 km2)
Population 6,156,719 (2007 est.)[2]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Nashville, Tennessee
State Troopers 972 (as of 2004) [1]
Civilians 897 (as of 2004) [1]
Agency executive Tracy Trott, Colonel
Parent agency Tennessee Department of Safety
Districts 8
Website
http://tn.gov/safety/thp.htm
Footnotes
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol, also known as the THP, is the highway patrol agency and de facto state police organization for the U.S. state of Tennessee, responsible for enforcing all federal and state laws relating to traffic on the state's federal and state highways. The agency was created to protect the lives, property, and constitutional rights of people in Tennessee. The THP is a division of the Tennessee Department of Safety.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol provides assistance to motorists who need help. It investigates traffic accidents involving property damage, personal injury, or death. The agency works with prosecutors in the prosecution of cases in which the use of drugs or alcohol contributed to accidents causing personal injury or fatalities. In addition to traffic law enforcement, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has responsibility in criminal interdiction, which involves the suppression of narcotics on the state's roads and highways, including Interstate Highways. It is the agency responsible for conducting background checks on applicants for permits to carry handguns.

History[edit]

The Tennessee Highway Patrol came into existence on December 14, 1929, to replace the unpopular Tennessee State Police Force, which had been created in 1926 and had been patterned after the Texas Rangers to obtain fees and taxes from citizens.[3][4] In 1957, the Tennessee Highway Patrol became the first police agency in the United States to utilize helicopters in patrol work.[4]

Administration, Personnel, and Organization[edit]

The head of the Tennessee Highway Patrol is Colonel Tracy Trott, who has served with the organization since 1978 and has served as the head of Tennessee Highway Patrol since 2010.[5][6] The THP is headquartered in Nashville, the state capital. The agency's field operations are organized geographically into eight districts, each with a district headquarters and a varying number of troops (stations that are usually grouped with adjacent counties). As of September 2007, the Tennessee Highway Patrol was authorized to have up to 947 commissioned officers.[7]

The Tennessee Highway Patrol operates five inspection sites around the state, in Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The Tennessee Highway Patrol's enforcement activities at the inspection sites, also called scale complexes, include inspections of commercial vehicles and driver logs, highway patrols with a focus on traffic violations by trucks, and weighing of commercial vehicles, both at permanent inspection stations on Interstate highways and with portable scales.[8]

Organization[edit]

As mentioned above, the Tennessee Highway Patrol organizes the state into eight districts, which have a district headquarters, a varying number of troops, and county facilities. The table below indicates the district, the troops in each region, the counties in each district and troop, and the locations of the district headquarters and inspection facilities (called scale complexes). With the extensive coverage of THP facilities, the Tennessee Highway Patrol therefore has a presence in each of Tennessee's 95 counties.[9]

THP districts with their constituent troops and scale complexes
District 1 (Knoxville)[10] District 2 (Chattanooga)[11] District 3 (Nashville)[12] District 4 (Memphis)[13] District 5 (Fall Branch)[14] District 6 (Cookeville)[15] District 7 (Lawrenceburg)[16] District 8 (Jackson)[17]
District 1 covers 11 counties: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, and Union. District 1 has 4 troops: Troops A, B, C, and D. District 2 covers 12 counties: Bledsoe, Bradley, Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie. District 2 has 5 troops: Troops A, B, C, D, and E. District 3 covers 12 counties: Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson. District 3 has 5 geographical troops and 1 special programs troop: Troops A, B, C, D, E, and S. District 4 covers 10 counties: Crockett, Dyer, Fayette, Hardeman, Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Obion, Shelby, and Tipton. District 4 has 4 troops: Troops A, B, C, and D. District 5 covers 13 counties: Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington. District 5 has 4 troops: Troops A, B, C, and D. District 6 covers 15 counties: Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Trousdale, Van Buren, Warren, and White. District 6 has 5 troops: Troops A, B, C, D, and E. District 7 covers 11 counties: Bedford, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Perry, and Wayne. District 7 has four troops: Troops A, B, C, and D. District 8 covers 11 counties: Benton, Carroll, Chester, Decatur, Gibson, Hardin, Henderson, Henry, Madison, McNairy, and Weakley. District 8 has 5 troops: Troops A, B, C, D, and E.
Troop A covers the following counties: Knox and Union. Troop A covers the following county: Hamilton. Troop A covers the following counties: Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, and Humphreys. Troop A covers the following counties: Shelby and Fayette. Troop A covers the following counties: Cocke, Hamblen, and Jefferson. Troop A covers the following county: Putnam. Troop A covers the following counties: Giles, Lawrence, and Lincoln. Troop A covers the following county: Madison.
Troop B covers the following counties: Loudon, Morgan, and Roane. Troop B covers the following counties: Bledsoe, Marion, and Sequatchie. Troop B covers the following counties: Rutherford and Williamson. Troop B covers the following counties: Hardeman and Haywood. Troop B covers the following county: Sullivan. Troop B covers the following counties: Fentress, Overton, and Pickett. Troop B covers the following counties: Bedford, Marshall, and Moore. Troop B covers the following counties: Gibson and Weakley.
Troop C covers the following counties: Anderson, Campbell, and Scott. Troop C covers the following counties: Bradley and Polk. Troop C covers the following counties: Houston, Montgomery, and Stewart. Troop C covers the following counties: Crockett, Lauderdale, and Tipton. Troop C covers the following counties: Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, and Washington. Troop C covers the following counties: Cumberland, Van Buren, and White. Troop C covers the following counties: Hickman and Maury. Troop C covers the following counties: Benton, Carroll, and Henry.
Troop D covers the following counties: Blount, Monroe, and Sevier. Troop D covers the following counties: Coffee, Franklin, and Grundy. Troop D covers the following counties: Wilson and Sumner. Troop D covers the following counties: Dyer, Lake, and Obion. Troop D covers the following counties: Claiborne, Grainger, Greene, Hancock, and Hawkins. Troop D covers the following counties: Cannon, DeKalb, Smith, and Warren. Troop D covers the following counties: Lewis, Perry, and Wayne. Troop D covers the following counties: Decatur and Henderson.
Troop E covers the following counties: McMinn, Meigs, and Rhea. Troop E covers the following county: Robertson. Troop E covers the following counties: Clay, Jackson, Macon, and Trousdale Troop E covers the following counties: Chester, Hardin, and McNairy.
Troop S comprises the following special programs: New Entrance, ACES, Pupil Transportation, D.A.R.E, and Motorcoach Inspection.
The district headquarters are in Knoxville and the district's scale complex is located in Knox County. The district headquarters are in Chattanooga and the district's scale complex is located in Coffee County. The district headquarters are in Nashville and the district's scale complex is located in Robertson County. The district headquarters are in Memphis and the district's scale complex is located in Haywood County. The district headquarters are in Fall Branch and the district's scale complex is located in Greene County. The district headquarters are in Cookeville. The district headquarters are in Lawrenceburg. The district headquarters are in Jackson.

Criminal Investigation Division[edit]

The Criminal Investigation Division of the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigates, gathers evidence, and assists federal, state, and local law enforcement, when requested. It also handles background checks for handgun carry permits.

  • Handgun Carry Permits
  • Identity Theft Information

Commercial Vehicle Enforcement[edit]

The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division of the Tennessee Highway Patrol inspects commercial vehicles and driver logs, weighs commercial vehicles, and patrols highways with a focus on truck traffic violations. Troop S in District 3 conducts all the below programs in addition to the D.A.R.E. program:

  • District Offices
  • New Entrant Program
  • A.C.E.S.
  • Pupil Transportation

Special Operations[edit]

The Special Operations Unit of the Tennessee Highway Patrol consists of four specialized sections:

  • Aviation section, which comprises four pilots, one mechanic, five Jet Ranger helicopters, and one Huey UH-1H,
  • Tactical/Scuba divers/Bomb Squad,
  • K-9 section, and
  • the Governor's Task Force on Marijuana Eradication.

Uniform and equipment[edit]

The design of the shoulder patch of the THP is unique, as it is the only State Police shoulder patch to identify the admittance of the state into the Union. Tennessee was the 16th state admitted in the Union; therefore the shoulder patch has a Roman numeral 16 displayed on it.

The uniform of the THP consists of a tan uniform shirt with forest green epaulets and pocket flaps. Long sleeves with a forest green tie is worn during the winter months while short sleeves with an open collar is worn during the summer months. Collar ornaments that have the letters "T.H.P" are worn on the collars of both seasonal uniform shirts. The uniform pant is forest green with a wide black stripe. The uniform hat is a forest green campaign style hat. A felt version is worn with the winter uniform while a straw version is worn with the summer uniform. A miniaturized version of the breast badge is worn as a hat badge while higher ranks display their insignia of rank on the uniform hat. A silver or gold (Depending on Rank) cord with acorns is worn at the base of the hat.

The THP utilizes a unique duty belt. Instead of the standard 2 14-inch-wide (5.7 cm) duty belt worn by most agencies, the THP utilizes a 3-inch-wide (7.6 cm) clarino (Patent High Gloss) leather duty belt, creating a distinctive look. All other accessories on the belt are also clarino and feature hidden snap closures. The belt buckle is silver for troopers and gold for higher ranks.

The issued sidearm for THP Troopers is the .357 Glock Model 31. Less lethal weapons issued to troopers include OC Pepper Spray and the Expandable Straight Baton.

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the organization was established, 40 members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol have died in the line of duty.[18]

Officer Date of Death Details
Trooper Charles Hash
April 11, 1930
Killed while operating a motorcycle in Memphis
Trooper Walter Jones
July 31, 1933
Killed while operating a motorcycle in Nashville
Trooper Lee Lovelace
February 3, 1934
Killed in a motorcycle accident
Trooper Clovis Cole
May 2, 1934
Killed in a motorcycle accident in Union City
Trooper Ed Kennedy
August 22, 1934
Killed in an automobile accident in Crab Orchard
Trooper Lindsey Smith
December 17, 1934
Killed by a gunshot wound in Tullahoma
Trooper Earl Hicks
June 17, 1936
Killed in a motorcycle accident in Knox County
Trooper Paul Summers
August 8, 1936
Killed in a motorcycle accident in Nashville
Trooper Carl Hickman
September 15, 1937
Killed in a motorcycle accident in Athens
Trooper Lewis Boone
October 18, 1938
Killed in a motorcycle accident in Pigeon Forge
Trooper Charles Gearhiser
November 12, 1938
Killed in a motorcycle accident in Dyer County
Trooper William Howard James
September 14, 1942
Killed in a motorcycle accident in Murfreesboro
Trooper James Williams
January 1, 1943
Killed in a motorcycle accident in Murfreesboro
Trooper William Crutcher
August 3, 1944
Killed in a motorcycle accident in Bordeaux
Staff Sergeant Fred Cole Woldrop
April 1, 1950
Killed in an automobile accident in Goodlettsville
Sergeant Oliver Devard Williamson
April 6, 1952
Killed during a tornado in Brownsville
Trooper Oscar Newton Morris
May 9, 1956
Killed by being struck by an automobile
Trooper Raymond Hendon
June 3, 1957
Killed in an automobile accident in Smyrna
Trooper Edward Jowers
August 3, 1962
Killed in an automobile accident in Memphis
Trooper Kenneth Moore
February 2, 1964
Suffered a heart attack
Trooper Joseph Emanuel Dillard
September 15, 1964
Killed in an automobile accident in Medina
Trooper William Gordon Barnes
January 22, 1966
Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper Michael Theodore Dafferner
April 6, 1966
Killed in an automobile accident in Knoxville
Lieutenant Samual W. Gibbs
August 27, 1966
Killed by a gunshot wound in Shelbyville
Trooper Eugene Brakebill
October 9, 1966
Suffered a heart attack while in pursuit of a car
Trooper Roy Alford Mynatt
February 11, 1968
Killed in an automobile accident in Rockwood
Trooper C. B. Martin
May 4, 1969
Killed in an automobile accident in Sparta
Trooper Samuel F. Holcomb, Jr.
March 27, 1988
Hit by a vehicle on I-40
Officer Michael Lloyd Rector
May 31, 1990
Shot during an undercover investigation
Trooper Douglas Wayne Tripp
May 19, 1991
Shot during a traffic stop
Trooper George Van Dorse Holcomb
January 26, 1992
Hit by a tractor trailer while at the scene of an accident
Sergeant James David Perry
October 3, 1999
Suffered a heart attack while in foot pursuit
Trooper Bobby J. Maples
November 5, 1999
Suffered a heart attack while assisting a motorist
Trooper Lynn McCarthy Ross
July 26, 2000
Killed when a tractor trailer struck vehicle
Trooper John Gregory Mann
January 1, 2001
Struck by a vehicle during a foot pursuit
Trooper John Robert Davis
March 17, 2001
Killed in an automobile accident
Trooper Todd Michael Larkins
July 8, 2005
Struck by a tractor trailer during a traffic stop
Trooper Calvin Wayne Jenks
January 6, 2007
Shot during a traffic stop
Trooper Andrew Thomas Wall
May 7, 2011
Killed in a motorcycle accident in Smyrna
Trooper Michael Slagle
January 25, 2013
Killed in a vehicle crash and suffered heart attack.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c USDOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics Census of Law Enforcement Agencies
  2. ^ http://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-ann-est.html 2007 Population Estimates
  3. ^ Tennessee Bluebook
  4. ^ a b Ratcliffe, Norm. "Tennessee Highway Patrol: History". Norm Ratcliffe. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Mike Walker biography, THP website
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Tennessee Highway Patrol Hiring Future Troopers, THP press release, September 18, 2007
  8. ^ Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Tennessee Highway Patrol website
  9. ^ THP Administration, THP website
  10. ^ Staff. "District 1". Tennessee Highway Patrol. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  11. ^ Staff. "District 2". Tennessee Highway Patrol. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  12. ^ Staff. "District 3". Tennessee Highway Patrol. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ Staff. "District 4". Tennessee Highway Patrol. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  14. ^ Staff. "District 5". Tennessee Highway Patrol. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  15. ^ Staff. "District 6". Tennessee Highway Patrol. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  16. ^ Staff. "District 7". Tennessee Highway Patrol. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  17. ^ Staff. "District 8". Tennessee Highway Patrol. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  18. ^ Department of Safety Internet - Tennessee Highway Patrol Complete Listing

External links[edit]