Two Murfreesboro Police Department (MPD) officers were among dozens of law enforcement officers statewide to be honored by the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) for their efforts in keeping Middle Tennessee roadways safer.
MPD Officer Chris Waters received the THSO Traffic ‘Officer of the Year Award’ and Officer Terry Spence received the ‘Beyond the Traffic Stop Award’. The awards were presented at the Law Enforcement Holiday Awards Network Meeting Luncheon held at the Bell Buckle Café in Bell Buckle, Tennessee Wednesday, December 11.
Sergeant Mike Walker nominated Waters for the Officer of the Year Award. As of mid-October, Waters traffic enforcement activity included:
- Investigating 299 traffic crashes.
- Answering 767 total calls for service, including 272 officer assists.
- Conducted 928 traffic stops which resulted in multiple arrests and the issuance of more than 1,900 citations and written warnings.
Officer Spence was nominated by Day Shift supervisors for helping to take a fugitive from justice off the streets.
On August 13, 2019, Officer Spence passed a motorcycle with the operator wearing an illegal helmet. Officer Spence initiated a traffic stop and began to conduct a thorough field interview on the subject. The subject was identified as John Daniel Smith. He stopped the vehicle on Broad Street near Tommy Martin Drive. Mr. Smith's answers became more evasive as time went on, and Spence knew that something was not right. Spence learned that Smith was a fugitive from justice out of Kentucky for malicious mischief (Felony) and that Kentucky wished to extradite him for prosecution. US Marshalls came to the Rutherford County Detention center and picked Mr. Smith up returning him to Kentucky on September 28, 2019. As Spence placed Smith in his patrol vehicle, he heard him say “You ask too many questions!”
“These two officers are well-deserving of these awards,” said Chief Michael Bowen. “Their hard-work and attention to detail are helping to make our streets and this community safer.”
THSO honored 30 officers, deputies and troopers throughout the Middle Tennessee Region.