Clinton will receive a Tennessee Municipal League award for police service during a conference in Chattanooga on Tuesday, a press release said.
The 2014 Tennessee Municipal League Achievement Award for Excellence in Police Service will be presented at 8 a.m. Tuesday during TML’s 75th Annual Conference at the Chattanooga Convention Center in Chattanooga.
The award is being presented in recognition of the city’s efforts to provide a model police department to the community, the release said.
“A culture of planning, caring and excellence; it’s what takes a municipal Police Department from ordinary to outstanding,” the release said. “And the Clinton Police Department is all that. A model of efficiency and outreach, officers—several with advanced specialty degrees—strive to provide the utmost in community service and training to area schools and other agencies, while being good stewards of the community resources. An extraordinary focus on communication among the department’s command staff is reflected in the city’s reduction in crime rate.”
The department has reduced crime by 20 percent this year, the release said.
“Two years ago, the department’s command staff formed the unique habit of meeting each morning to exchange information from the previous 24 hours and plan their strategies for the next 24 hours,” the release said. “While meeting that often is demanding, the results speaks for (themselves).”
“The Clinton Police Department has consistently performed over the last decade, and this last year was no exception,” said Rex Barton, Municipal Technical Advisory Service police consultant. Taking a leadership role throughout the region, the department’s K-9 division currently provides training to eight other law enforcement agencies. Three of the department’s five investigators alone hold National Forensic Academy certifications. They extend this training to area schools, where officers developed the Core Safety Program, teaching fifth and sixth graders the basics of gun safety, bike safety, social media, and drug/alcohol prevention. The new program replaces the older DARE program. Child safety continues to be a priority in the city of Clinton. The department started the School Resource Officers program in 2013, placing one officer in each of the three K-6 elementary schools. The city and the schools share the cost of the program. Saving thousands of dollars over the past five years, the department purchases used vehicles from the Missouri State Police. The vehicles have limited miles and are well-maintained. The savings made way for a new command vehicle and a crime scene truck, the release said.
Reaching out to the extended community, the department suggested a venue change to the downtown area for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event. “The department ‘made it happen,'” said Relay for Life Coordinator Joyce Klee. “They provided the tactical assistance needed to ensure the safety of the teams and participants.”
“From patrol officer to the chief, I don’t know of a police department with the quality, commitment, results, and culture of excellence of the Clinton Police Department,” said Dave Clark, Anderson County district attorney general. “They have set a standard for the entire state.”
Barton agreed: “They are perfect candidates for the TML Excellence in Police Services Award.”
Each year, the Tennessee Municipal League honors cities throughout the state for overall excellence, improvement, specific out standing programs, or department accomplishments. Other award winners for 2014 include:
- Algood, for Small Town Progress;
- Athens, for Excellence in Community Service;
- Bulls Gap, for Small Town Progress;
- Jackson, for Excellence in Community Wellness;
- McKenzie, for Excellence in Community Planning;
- Morristown, for Excellence in Governance; and
- Mt. Juliet, for Excellence Fire Services.
The Tennessee Municipal League is a voluntary, cooperative organization established by the cities and towns of the state for mutual assistance and improvements. The League’s primary function is to advocate on behalf of city governments. TML works with the Tennessee General Assembly promoting legislation helpful to cities and opposing legislation harmful to cities.