Department of Safety & Homeland Security Recognizes Employee Promotions
NASHVILLE--- Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security officials formally recognized 15 recent promotions in a special ceremony Thursday at the Tennessee Highway Patrol Training Center in Nashville. Commissioner Bill Gibbons, Deputy Commissioner Larry Godwin, Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott, and Assistant Commissioner David Purkey were on-hand to congratulate the employees.
Richard “Dean” Hurley has been promoted to Lt. Colonel, supervising the agency’s Field Operations Bureau. Hurley had served since 2010 as Major over field operations in east Tennessee. Prior to that, he served as Captain over the 13-county Fall Branch district. Hurley started his career with the THP in 1977, serving in Sullivan County and his native Washington County as a road trooper. Hurley is an adjunct faculty member teaching criminal justice courses at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, where he also received his Master of Arts degree in criminology and a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. Hurley served in the U.S. Air Force from 1973-1976.
Cheryl Sanders has been promoted to Major, supervising the Field Operations East Bureau. Sanders most recently served as Captain over the Knoxville District. Commissioned as a Road Trooper in 1983, Sanders first worked in Knox County where she was also assigned to the CID Division in undercover narcotics enforcement. In 2002, Sanders became the first female promoted to Lieutenant with the THP. In 2006, she became the first female promoted to Captain overseeing the Chattanooga district, where she served until being reassigned to the Knoxville district in 2008. Sanders earned an Associate’s degree in police science and criminal justice from Roane State Community College and is a graduate of the Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command.
Jessie W. Brooks has been promoted to Captain of the THP’s Chattanooga District. Brooks has served as Administrative Lieutenant in the Knoxville District since 2009. He started his career with the THP as Road Trooper in 1981, assigned to Roane and later Knox Counties. He also served as a Deputy in the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department and is a veteran of the United States Navy Reserve. Brooks is currently enrolled at Bethel University and plans to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in criminal justice later this year. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command School.
Brad Lund has been promoted to Lieutenant in the Aviation Section of the Special Operations Unit. After graduating as a trooper cadet in 1997, Lund was assigned as a Road Trooper in Montgomery County in the Nashville District. He was transferred to Robertson County in 1998. Lund was selected for the Special Operations Unit in 1999. In 2000, Lund was selected to train as a helicopter pilot in the Aviation Section. Lund served as a Trooper in the Special Operations/Aviation Section until he was promoted to Sergeant in 2006. Lund holds an FAA issued Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Helicopter certificate, a Commercial Pilot certificate with instrument rating in airplanes, and he is a Certified Flight Instructor in helicopters.
Brandon Douglas has been promoted to Lieutenant in the THP’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) section. Douglas enlisted into the United States Air Force in 1992 after graduating from high school and served four years on active duty with an additional seven years in the Tennessee Army National Guard. Douglas began his law enforcement career with the THP in 1997. He has extensive training in all aspects of law enforcement and has been assigned to scale complex duty, the K-9 unit, and road patrol. Douglas is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. In the CVE section, Douglas oversees all the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration grants issued to the state.
Carey Hixson has been promoted to Lieutenant in the Chattanooga District. Hixson began his career with the State of Tennessee in 1997 with the Department of Corrections. In 2001, he started with the THP where he has received training in commercial vehicle enforcement, road patrol, and criminal interdiction. Hixson was awarded the Trooper of the Year award for the Knoxville district in 2008. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2010 and was assigned as the midnight supervisor for the Fall Branch District. Hixson is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.
Steven Lowery has been promoted to Lieutenant in the Nashville District. Lowery has been a commissioned trooper since 1998, graduating as president of the THP Cadet Class 898. Lowery was initially assigned to Rutherford County and worked as a Road Trooper there until his transfer in 2000 to Wilson County. In 2004, he was assigned to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Training Center as an instructor and was promoted to Sergeant in 2006. In 2009 he was transferred back to Wilson County. Lowery is a certified field training officer, DUI instructor, drug recognition expert, mobile video instructor, and police instructor. He completed the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1995 and worked for the Lebanon Police Department as a narcotics investigator until 1998. Lowery was also assigned to the THP Honor Guard in 2000 and was a member of the team for ten years.
Ricky Bratton has been promoted to Lieutenant in the Jackson District. Bratton graduated from the THP cadet school in 1996. His first assignment was as a Road Trooper in Haywood County. He was soon transferred to Madison County as a Road Trooper, then moved on to the interdiction unit. Bratton moved on to Gibson County and worked the road for approximately eight years. In 2007, he was promoted to Sergeant in Weakley County. After three years, he was transferred to Weakley County, and in 2010 was transferred back to Gibson County. Bratton has attended several criminal interdiction schools, officer survival schools, and is certified as a DUI instructor. He has also attended several dignitary protection schools and assists with dignitary protection details.
Michael Edwards has been promoted to Lieutenant in the Lawrenceburg District. Edwards began his THP career in 1998 assigned to Williamson County in the Nashville District for three 3 years. In 2001, Edwards transferred to the Lawrenceburg District where he was assigned to Lawrence County for three years, and then Lewis County for three years. He was promoted to Sergeant in the administration’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement division in Nashville in 2007. In 2008 Edwards was transferred back to the Lawrenceburg District as the Special Programs Sergeant for two years. In 2010 he became the Administrative Sergeant in the Lawrenceburg District. Throughout his career, Edwards has attended many specialized training schools, including Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.
Jimmie Johnson has been promoted to Lieutenant in the Memphis District. Johnson’s career with the THP began 1997. After completion of the academy, Johnson was stationed in the Memphis District in Haywood County where he served until transferring to the Evidence Custodian position in 2007. Johnson was promoted to Sergeant in 2008 in Shelby County, and then transferred to Lauderdale and Crockett Counties as Troop Sergeant. Johnson is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. He also served as Strike Team Sergeant for the Memphis District.
Richard Garrison has been promoted to Lieutenant in the Fall Branch District. Garrison started his career in 1988 with the Tennessee Public Service Commission (PSC) in Sullivan County. He was transferred to the Tennessee Department of Safety, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) Division, and assigned to the Greene County Scales in 1996. Garrison was promoted to scales Sergeant in 1999. He served in that role until CVE and the Tennessee Highway Patrol merged in 2004. Garrison was then transferred to Johnson County as a patrol Sergeant. In 2008, Garrison was given the responsibility of supervising both Carter and Johnson Counties. While with the PSC, Garrison was named officer of the year in Upper East Tennessee in 1990 and 1991 and CVE Division 1 officer of the year in 1997. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.
Mark Dial has been promoted to Lieutenant in the Cookeville District. A commissioned state trooper since 1997, Dial’s first assignment was in White County in the Cookeville District. Dial went on to serve as a Road Trooper in White County for nine years. In late 2006, Dial was promoted to Sergeant in Putnam County, where he served for 14 months before transferring to Dekalb County as a Patrol Sergeant over both Dekalb and Smith Counties, where he is currently assigned. Throughout his career, Dial has served as a member of the THP Riot Team, and after being promoted to the rank of Sergeant, he was selected as a Squad Leader on the Riot Squad. Dial is member of the THP Honor Guard. In May of 2011, Dial became the “Officer in Charge” of the Honor Guard.
Wayne Jackson has been promoted to Sergeant in the Department’s Inspectional Services Bureau in Nashville. Jackson began his career with the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 2000. After graduating from cadet school, he spent the next seven years working in the Nashville District, assigned to road positions in Sumner, Williamson, and Davidson Counties. In 2008 he transitioned to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, graduating from Basic Criminal Investigation School, and serving as a Special Agent Criminal Investigator in the Middle Tennessee Criminal Investigation Division. In 2010, Jackson transferred back to the THP and was assigned to Wilson County in the Nashville District where he worked until his promotion to Sergeant. Jackson earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. He is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and serves as a member of the THP Honor Guard. Jackson is a former member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves.
James Cotter has been promoted to Supervisory Intelligence Officer for the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security. In this role, Cotter serves as co-director of the Tennessee Fusion Center. Cotter was promoted last year to Training Advisor for the Office of Homeland Security. He previously served as Regional Advisor, a role he held since 2008. Cotter has more than 20 years of law enforcement experience. He started his law enforcement career in Tennessee in 1996 with the Metro Nashville Airport Police where he became a member of the Bomb Squad and SWAT Team and was a Field Training Officer (FTO). In 2000, Cotter took a position with the Brentwood Police Department where he became a Certified Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Crime Scene Investigator, and one of the first Tennessee Terrorism Liaison Officers (TLO). He is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Andrea Wilson has been promoted to Senior Intelligence Analyst for the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security. Wilson began her career with the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security in 2006 after working more than seven years with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD). During her time at MNPD, she worked in the identification section as a Police Operations Assistant III and in the Specialized Investigations
Division (SID) as the interim intelligence analyst. While in SID, Wilson was instrumental in developing a platform to compile gang data which is still being utilized today. Wilson is currently assigned to the Tennessee Fusion Center where she serves as the lead intelligence analyst for African criminal operations. In 2011, Wilson was selected to attend LEAD Tennessee, a leadership development training course for state employees. She was selected to be a member of the 2013 Tennessee Government Leadership Council (TGL), a consortium of alumni leaders from various Tennessee Government Institutes to provide strategic guidance in continual improvement opportunities for leaders in Tennessee state government. Wilson has completed several intelligence analysis training programs and is currently enrolled in Arabic and Spanish language courses.
Photos are available upon request.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure that our state is a safe, secure place in which to live, work and travel; enforce the law with integrity; and provide customer-focused services professionally and efficiently.