TDOS Establishes Professional Standards Bureau

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 | 12:00 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn., — The Tennessee Department of Safety today announced the promotions of 11 people.  Most will serve in the new Professional Standards Bureau, which was recommended in the Kroll Report commissioned by Governor Bredesen to study the management structure and organization of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The new bureau includes the Office of Professional Responsibility (formerly the Internal Affairs Division) and the Staff Inspections Units.  The Office of Professional Responsibility is charged with managing investigative and disciplinary processes for the Department of Safety, while the Staff Inspections Unit ensures all sections of the department are following policies and procedures properly.  The primary mission of the Professional Standards Bureau is to assure that employees of the department meet the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and ethical performance.  The new bureau will be staffed by the following personnel:

John Savage has been promoted to the rank of Major over the new bureau after serving more than a year as Captain/Director of the Internal Affairs Division.  Major Savage, a 29-year THP veteran, began his career in 1977 as a Trooper in Coffee County in the Chattanooga District.  He has served as a Sergeant in McMinn and Hamilton Counties, Captain and Administrative Lieutenant in the Chattanooga District and as Assistant Director of the Training Division.  He was also Commander of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) from 2002 to 2005.  He is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and is married with one daughter.

Lieutenant William D. Thomas, a Maryville native, will serve in the Office of Professional Responsibility after four years overseeing Troop D in Sevier, Blount and Monroe Counties.  Thomas began his career with the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 1988 in Loudon County before being transferred to Blount County, where he has served since 1991.  Thomas is a 1975 graduate of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy and a 1982 graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Academy at Glynco, Georgia.  He earned his Associate of Political Science degree from Roane State Community College.

Sergeant Robert Terrell Johnson, A Dyer native, moves to the Office of Professional Responsibility after serving the past three years as a Trooper in Davidson County in the Nashville District.  Johnson began his career with the THP in 1998 in Fayette County in the Memphis District.

Sergeant Lowell Russell of Vonore will serve in the Office of Professional Responsibility after being a Trooper in Monroe County in the Knoxville District from 2000 until now.  Sergeant Russell began his career with the THP in Marshall County in the Lawrenceburg District in 1998.  He is a graduate of the Cleveland State Police Academy in 1997 and attended Roane State Community College.

Sergeant Stacey Wood-Heatherly, a Jacksboro native, is moving to the Office of Professional Responsibility after serving as a Trooper in Wilson County from 1998 to 2002, and in Campbell County in the Knoxville District from 2002 to present.  Sergeant Wood-Heathery began her career with the THP in 1998 and is the proud mother of four children and two grandchildren.

Sergeant Ronald Ray Crockarell, a native of Indian Mound, will serve in the Office of Professional Responsibility.  Crockarell began his career with the THP in 1998, working in Shelby, Robertson, Houston and Stewart Counties.

Sergeant Donald A. Velez, a Whiteville native, will serve in the Office of Professional Responsibility after spending more than 18 years in Shelby and Hardeman Counties, including service as a radar instructor and field training officer.

Sergeant David Bush, a Bloomington Springs native, is promoted to his new assignment in the Staff Inspections Unit.  Bush began his career with the THP as a Road Trooper in Putnam County in 1995 after three years with the Cookeville Police Department.  Sergeant Bush is married and has two sons.

Three other people are being promoted today in other units.  Lieutenant James D. Burnette, Jr., a Chattanooga native, is being assigned to Coffee County in the Field Operations Bureau East after serving as Sergeant in Hamilton County, both in the Chattanooga District.  Burnette began his career with the THP in 1989, serving as a Road Trooper in Marion and Hamilton Counties before his promotion to Sergeant in 1996.

The Field Operations Bureau West has a new sergeant in the Memphis District.  Sergeant John Derrick Marvin, a native of Tiptonville, is being promoted from D.A.R.E Trooper to Sergeant.  Marvin began his career with the THP in 1973 and has been assigned to Shelby and Crockett Counties, serving as a D.A.R.E. Trooper from 1990-1992 and 1998 to present.  Marvin was honored as D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year in 1992 and has helped train D.A.R.E. officers in four states and five foreign countries.  Marvin, whose son, Michael, is a State Trooper stationed in Murfreesboro, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Tennessee at Memphis and his Associate degree in Criminal Justice from Dyersburg State.

In the department’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID), Assistant Special Agent Billy Grooms, a Newport native, is promoted to Special Agent in Charge for Region I, the Fall Branch and Knoxville Districts.  Grooms began his career with the THP in 1980, serving in Davidson, Knox, Greene, Washington and Unicoi Counties in criminal investigations.

The Tennessee Department of Safety (www.tennessee.gov/safety) is responsible for ensuring the safety and general welfare of the traveling public.  The department’s general areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education and motorist services including the issuance of driver licenses.  The department and its highly trained staff of Troopers are responsible for safety on more than 15,000 miles of state and federal highways.