Class 129 Completes Academy

September 18, 2023

Fifty-Five New Police Officers Ready to Serve

            Fifty-five cadets graduated from the Walters State Regional Law Enforcement Academy on Sept. 14.
            Based at the college’s Niswonger Campus in Greeneville, the academy is an intensive nine-week program providing over 500 hours of training. Upon completion, students are awarded the technical certificate in Basic Law Enforcement Officer Education and are eligible to apply for certification by the Police Officers Standards and Training Commission as a certified peace officer in the state of Tennessee after being employed by a law enforcement agency.
             The program is part of the Regional Law Enforcement Training Center, established at Walters State by the POST Commission and is part of the college’s Public Safety Center of Emphasis, a designation recognizing its outstanding record in career preparation.

Awards presented during the graduation ceremonies were:
• Academic Award: Joseph Turk, Jr., Clarksville Police Department.
• Defensive and Tactical Driving: Jonathan Ketron, Bristol (Tennessee) Police Department.
• Defensive Tactics: Emmaline Hulse, Kingsport Police Department.
• Firearms: Steven Owens, Oak Ridge Police Department.
• Charles Edward Baskette Memorial Award for Courage and Determination: Nathaniel Payne, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office. 
• Best Athlete: Corey Reeves, Clarksville Police Department. 
• David Purkey Leadership Award: Terry J. Blackburn, Jr., Clarksville Police Department.
• Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police Award: Shawn King, Clarksville Police Department.
• Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association Award: David Dragan, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The following students graduated as part of Class 129. Names are organized by the county of residence. 

Anderson County: Steven Owens, Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Police Department.

Greene County: Chelsey Emmette and Matthew Jersey, both of Greeneville, both Greeneville Police Department.

Hamblen County: Cassie Bell, Morristown, Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office; David Talton, Russellville, Cocke County Sheriff’s Office.

Hawkins County: William Lawson, Bulls Gap, Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department. 

Jefferson County: Joshua Ellis of Dandridge, Cocke County Police Department; Ben Jones IV, Jefferson City, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office; David Dragan, New Market, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office; Coy Rumfelt, New Market, Pigeon Forge Police Department.

Knox County: Andre Belton Jr. of Knoxville, Johnson City Police Department; Corina Buta of Knoxville, Oak Ridge Police Department; and Christopher Reddick of Knoxville, Oak Ridge Police Department.

Montgomery County: Terry Blackburn, Jordan Bunting, Cole Carbaugh, Marquez Clark, Troy Deforge, Zackary Gibbons, Devin Graham, Austin Green, Aaron Horn, Dylan Johnson, Shawn King, Jordan Marress, Samantha Mazula, Corey Reeves, John Stover, Joseph Turk Jr., Brandon Wirtz, all of Clarksville and all, Clarksville Police Department.

Pickett County: Ethan Storie, Byrdstown, Pickett County Sheriff’s Department.

Robertson County: Tyler Hathcock of Greenbrier, Robertson County Sheriff’s Office; Leevi Nelson, Springfield, Robertson County Sheriff’s Office.

Sevier County: Gabriel Huskey, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge Police Department; Ryan Maibauer, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge Police Department.

Sullivan County: Nathaniel Payne, Bluff City, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office; Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bristol, Bluff City Police Department; Dustin Harper, Jonathan Ketron, and Jacob Todd, all of Bristol and all Bristol (Tennessee) Police Department; Dakota Allen, Kingsport, Johnson City Police Department; Tyler Copas, Kingsport, Kingsport Police Department; Dakota Couch, Kingsport, Johnson City Police Department; Dakota Couch, Kingsport, Johnson City Police Department; Caleb Crosby, Kingsport, Bristol (Tennessee) Police Department; Emmaline Hulse, Kingsport, Kingsport Police Department; Benjamin McCluskey, Kingsport, Kingsport Police Department; Benjamin McCluskey, Kingsport, Kingsport Police Department; Timothy Pitts, Kingsport, Kingsport Police Department. Houston Smith, Kingsport, Johnson City Police Department;Jordan Adkins, Piney Flats, Johnson City Police Department. 

Washington County: Isabella D’esposito, Michael Rainey and Gage Stegman, all of Johnson City and all, Johnson City Police Department; Karl Trevino, Jonesborough, Johnson City Police Department; Skyler Wyatt, Jonesborough Police Department.


Gate City: Gary Price, Johnson City (Tennessee) Sheriff’s Office.