Sheriff's Office honors 2021 Officers of the Month

Feb 05, 2022 at 12:09 pm by Lisa Marchesoni

Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh, left, honors the Officer of the Month recipients for 2021. From left, front row, are Sgt. J.D. Davis, Lt. Chris Kauffman, K9 Deputy Richard Tidwell, SRO Mick Rea, Cpl.
Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh, left, honors the Officer of the Month recipients for 2021. From left, front row, are Sgt. J.D. Davis, Lt. Chris Kauffman, K9 Deputy Richard Tidwell, SRO Mick Rea, Cpl. Jacob Beu and SRO Shane Vaughn; back row, Detective Austin Mobbs, Cpl. James Bailey, SRO Matt Clagg, Deputy Austin Watson and Detective Ryan Huggins.

Twenty-two Sheriff’s Office deputies earned honors as Officers of the Month for exemplary actions in 2021, including potentially saving lives.

 Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh and the Sheriff’s command staff and captains recognized the employees during a ceremony Friday.

"Our deputies chosen for ‘Officers of the Month’ show exemplary actions in protecting students, using their specialized skills in a responding to flooding and locating missing children, preventing illegal drugs to be sold and solving crimes,” Fitzhugh said. “They show genuine compassion and dedication in their law enforcement duties.”    

          Honorees include:

  • Narcotics Detective Mark Gregory led an investigation into large-scale distribution of heroin and Fentanyl in Rutherford County and Middle Tennessee. Narcotics detectives recovered almost 70 pounds of a heroin/Fentanyl mix, Ecstasy, cocaine and marijuana.


  • Patrol Deputy Steven Harrison’s attention to detail led to an investigation of a stolen box trailer near Rockvale. The trailer contained $5 million of a racing memorabilia the owner planned to place in a museum.


  • Patrol Deputy Shaun Matthews stopped a driver for a traffic offense and smelled marijuana. The traffic stop resulted in a search of his home where narcotics detectives recovered marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.


  • School Resource Officers Shane Vaughn and Matt Clagg recovered a loaded handgun from a student attending classes at Stewarts Creek High School. Vaughn, Clagg and SRO Chris Freischlag quickly detained the student and recovered the handgun and marijuana in the student’s book bag with no injuries.


  • K9 Deputy Richard Tidwell and K9 partner, Fred, located a 6-year-old girl allegedly abducted by her non-custodial father. They were found hiding in a shed in DeKalb County. The girl hugged Fred for rescuing her.


  • Detective Austin Mobbs led the investigation of a Rutherford County girl who was kidnapped allegedly by a child sexual predator in North Carolina. He and other detectives used resources to return the girl home to her mother.


  • SWAT Team Commander Lt. Chris Kauffman, Sgt. Troy Hooker, Sgt. Jonathan McGee, Sgt. James Davis, Detective Derrick McCullough, Narcotics Detective James McFerrin, Detective Ryan Huggins, Narcotics Detective Thomas Burnett, Patrol Cpl. James Bailey, Cpl. Jacob Beu and Deputy Zach Campbell were requested to help residents of Waverly and Humphreys County in the devastating floods. They recovered flood victims, checked homes for damages and needs, assessed roads, provided residents with food, water and first aid, comforted victims, secured areas and conducted security for Gov. Bill Lee.


  • Patrol Deputy Jamie O’Rourke and Patrol Deputy Luis Ramirez received a call about suspects breaking into cars on midnight shift. They located the suspects and recovered a loaded handgun and a wallet tossed onto a house roof. They solved three burglaries before the victims knew about the crimes.


  • School Resource Officer Mick Rea led a team of officers who arrested two suspects with handguns at the Oakland-Riverdale High School game. The suspects were persons of interest in a homicide in another county.


  • Detective Corey Floyd led an investigation recovering a Sheriff’s Office record of 1,150 pounds of marijuana from a La Vergne home and 517 pounds of marijuana from a storage unit.


  • Patrol Deputy Austin Watson tracked a suspect accused of burglary and the theft of a stolen vehicle. The suspect was also charged with aggravated domestic assault of the victim.


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