May 2, 2006 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam
and Police Chief Sterling Owen named Officer Sammy Shaffer the 2005
Officer of the Year for the Knoxville Police Department. Officer Shaffer
has been with the department since October 2001.
Chief Owen said Officer Shaffer started his career with the City of
Knoxville in 1994 when he worked for the Traffic Engineering Department.
In 1996, Shaffer transferred to the Knoxville Fire Department where
he served until transferring to the Knoxville Police Department in
Since joining the police department, Officer Shaffer's skills and
knowledge have become a valuable resource for the police department.
His firefighting skills have been utilized to train the Knoxville
Police Department's SWAT Team (Special Operations Squad) to operate
in Level A Hazardous Material Suits. Only the Los Angeles, California
SWAT Team had achieved this level of training prior to the certification
of our officers.
June 2005, Officer Shaffer was assigned to the Bike Squad in the
Central Business District. Mayor Haslam has identified this district
as the driving force to revitalization for the city. The goal is
to make this area a place where businesses and residents want to
locate. Since his assignment, Officer Shaffer has excelled in proactively
addressing the special needs of the Downtown area. Officer Shaffer
made several felony arrests that have curtailed criminal activity
ranging from aggravated assault to burglary. These felons whose
actions were affecting the residents and visitors downtown have
now been removed from the streets.
In addition to his regular duties, Officer Shaffer volunteers as
one of three leaders over the KPD Explorer Scout Program. This program
serves as a stepping-stone into the Cadet Program and eventually
to a position as a sworn officer. As a leader of this program Officer
Shaffer gives hundreds of hours of his personal time to provide
training and guidance to this group of young people. Officer Shaffer
works to motivate these young men and women and to encourage them
to continue with their interest in a law enforcement career.
Officer Shaffer is currently working to develop a training program
for volunteers on how they can assist the department in search and
rescue operations. The assistance of trained volunteers would be
a tremendous benefit for the department and this city during special
events such as an AMBER Alert.
Chief Owen said, "Officer Shaffer is well respected by fellow
officers as well as the Command Staff. He has the knowledge, experience,
dedication, desire, work ethic, consistent stellar performance,
and character that make him an excellent recipient of this award."
Mayor Haslam said, "Officer Shaffer is an outstanding representative
for the Knoxville Police Department as well as the City of Knoxville.
We appreciate his desire to make this a better community by going
above and beyond the call of duty each and everyday. Congratulations
on a job well done."
Officer Shaffer will receive a signed certificate from the Mayor
and Chief along with a free dinner from Ruby Tuesday Restaurant.
All Officers of the Month and Civilian Employees of the Month for
2005 are also being honored today. They include: