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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor
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For Immediate Release
Knoxville Police Opens New Drivers Training Center
Knoxville Police Department
November 15, 2005 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen today opened the new Knoxville Police Department Drivers Training Center. The Drivers Training Center completes the final phase of the state-of-the-art Phil Keith Training Center.

The Drivers Training Center will provide a safe place for training officers the skills needed for everyday police enforcement activities. The center contains an oval track 6/10th of a mile in length. The center also has an urban skills area along with a special skid area that will allow officers an opportunity to practice safe maneuvering on a wet roadway.

Chief Owen said, "This facility will provide the department an area where we can simulate real world driving situations that our officers encounter everyday. This will result in better trained officers serving the needs of the citizens of Knoxville."

The centerpiece of the facility is a four-story control tower where training supervisors will be able to oversee the activities around the 12-acre site. In the unlikely event of a problem developing on the course, the training supervisor will be able to alert all personnel to the problem, thus eliminating the risk of personal injury for the drivers and instructors.

Mayor Haslam said, "This facility shows the commitment the department has for providing the best training opportunities to the men and woman of the police department. In turn, the officers will be able to provide better service to our customers, the citizens of Knoxville."

The streets that are a part of the urban skills training area have all been named after employees who dedicated their careers to the improvement of the Knoxville Police Department.

They include:
  • Assistant Chief Tom Hammer (1946-1976)
  • Chief Joe Fowler (1950-1978)
  • Captain Gerald King (1962-1990)
  • Sergeant Gary Shaffer (1971-2002)
  • Commander Judie Martin (1977-2006)
  • PO IV Van Bubel (1979-Present)
  • Deputy Chief Rudy Bradley (1962-1997)

    In a surprise announcement, Chief Sterling Owen officially named the entire track area after the current Director of Training for the Knoxville Police Department, Captain Don Jones.

    Chief Owen said, "Captain Jones has been an incredible asset to the department and to the city during the planning, design, and construction phases of this facility. He has worked long hours throughout the project to make certain this facility would meet the needs of the department for years to come. Due to his commitment, it is my pleasure to name this facility the Don Jones Track."

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