July 13, 2005 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam
and Police Chief Sterling Owen today named Lieutenant Donna Clift
and Officer James Cox as the June Officers of the Month. Lt. Clift
has been with the department since 1979 and is being honored for the
apprehension of an armed robbery suspect. Officer Cox has been an
officer for the department since 2002 and is being honored for the
arrest of two burglary suspects.
Chief Owen said on June 7, 2005 at approximately 3:15 p.m., Lt. Clift
responded to an armed robbery call at John Berry, which is located
at 4821 Kingston Pike. As Lt. Clift was responding, dispatch alerted
officers to the description of the suspect along with a description
of the suspect's vehicle.
As Lt. Clift was nearing the scene, she observed a vehicle in the
intersection of Tobler and Sutherland Avenue that matched the description
of the suspect's vehicle. The passenger in the red and white pick-up
also matched the description of the robbery suspect.
Lt. Clift conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and removed
both occupants from the truck where she patted them down for weapons.
Lt. Clift then observed a semi-automatic handgun in the seat near
the passenger. Both suspects were taken into custody without incident.
The victims positively identified the passenger in the truck, Tony
Epps, as the suspect who had robbed them at gunpoint. Epps was charged
with one count of Aggravated Robbery.
On June 28, 2005 at approximately 11:15 p.m., Officer James Cox
was dispatched to a burglary in progress call at the Heely-Brown
Company located at 2714 North Central Street. Witnesses indicated
they had observed two suspects enter the fenced in area of the business
and load roofing shingles into their pickup truck. The suspects
had returned for another load.
Officer Cox approached the business cautiously so he would not alert
the suspects to his arrival. While observing the suspects load additional
shingles onto their truck, Officer Cox was able to inform other
responding officers where to position themselves in order to contain
the suspects. Once the officers were in position, the suspects were
approached and taken into custody without incident. Thomas Barger
(DOB 6-25-71) and Buddy Lingenfelter (DOB 9-17-63) were charged
with burglary. Barger was on probation for robbery.
Chief Owen said, "Lt. Clift and Officer Cox both used good
tactics and procedures which resulted in the quick apprehension
of these three suspects. Due to these officers' impressive response,
three potentially dangerous criminals are now off the streets."
Mayor Haslam said, "These officers demonstrated their commitment
to their fellow officers and to the citizens in which they serve.
We commend them on a job well done."
Both officers will receive a signed certificate from the Mayor and
Chief along with a free dinner from Bayou Bay Restaurant.