Legislative update

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Three Stars of Tennessee Award honors six Tennessee heroes

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security hosted the annual ceremony to recognize the recipients of the “Three Stars of Tennessee Award” and to honor First Responders.  The event, which is traditionally held on or near September 11, took place in Conservation Hall at the Governor’s Residence in Nashville.

I was pleased to spearhead this legislation to recognize law enforcement, firefighters and medical first responders who either died or suffered a career ending injury in the line of duty.  We passed this legislation in 2014 and this is the third year the awards have been presented.  Governor Haslam and Commissioner David Purkey (Department of Safety and Homeland Security) joined me in honoring the families of the individuals who gave their all to Tennessee.

Six individuals were honored posthumously with the “Three Stars of Tennessee Award”.  All of the recipients were killed in the line of duty.  The recipients included:

Sergeant Sean L. Allred, Livingston Police Department
Lieutenant Rodney K. Eddins, Memphis Fire Services
Deputy Zachary T. Larnerd, Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Department
Officer Verdell Smith, Sr., Memphis Police Department
Deputy Rosemary Vela, Madison County Sheriff’s Office
Park Ranger James M. Warren, Jr., Hamilton County Parks & Recreation Department

Every day in Tennessee, brave men and women put on their uniforms and report for duty with the knowledge that they may pay the ultimate price for the job that they do.  It is very appropriate that we honor the sacrifices made by Tennessee heroes like these who have demonstrated nobility through their actions.  No words seem adequate to express our gratitude and admiration for the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to selflessly serving others.

The awards were presented to their next of kin.

There were also 21 First Responders who were presented certificates in recognition of the outstanding service.  These individuals were from each of the Homeland Security districts as well as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.  Officer Edmond Randolph of the Knoxville Police Department was one of the honorees.