KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Department Launches 2nd Annual “No-Shave Fall-vember” Campaign for Charity

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Department Launches 2nd Annual "No-Shave Fall-vember" Campaign for Charity
DATE: TBD
GENERAL NARRATIVE
Beginning Thursday, September 1, 2022, area citizens may start noticing some stubble on the faces of some of Kingsport’s Police Officers. K.P.D. is launching its 2nd Annual “No-Shave Fall-vember” campaign to raise funds for a very worthwhile cause.

While Kingsport Police Department policies typically require employees to maintain a traditional conservative appearance, this Fall, K.P.D. will temporarily relax these standards and allow employees to select one of the following options:

· Employees may choose to grow and maintain a neatly-groomed beard.

· Employees may choose to wear blue jeans on Fridays (non-uniformed personnel only).

· Employees may choose to wear a solid-color ribbon in one of the traditionally associated cause awareness colors.

Last year’s campaign started off as “No-Shave November” and eventually expanded to “No-Shave November & December;” however, the “No-Shave Fall-vember” campaign this year will incorporate the four months of September, October, November, and December. Last year’s campaign successfully raised $12,250, all of which was donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

All K.P.D. employees are being encouraged to participate. In order to take part in this year’s campaign, employees are asked to make a $40 donation to the K.P.D. Employee Fund for each month of the campaign. If an employee wishes to participate in all four months, their donation would be $160. As wearing blue jeans on Friday only involves one day per week, that option only requires a $25 donation per month or $100 for all four months.

Arrangements have also been made where citizens, businesses, and other organizations can join K.P.D.’s campaign by becoming a community partner sponsor. The following sponsorship tiers are available:

· Diamond Level Sponsor $5,000

· Platinum Level Sponsor $2,500

· Gold Level Sponsor $1,000

· Silver Level Sponsor $500

· Bronze Level Sponsor $250

· Blue Level Sponsor (Individual Officer Matching) $160

K.P.D. is also extremely pleased to announce that Holston Medical Group (HMG) has already committed to be a Diamond Level Sponsor. This is the second year that HMG has pledged $5,000 to this campaign. The Kingsport Area Safety Council (KASC) has committed to be a Gold Level Sponsor, pledging $1,000 toward the campaign. We anticipate that other community partners will join us in our fund-raising efforts throughout the campaign.

While certainly not required, in addition to their own participation, all K.P.D. employees are being challenged to obtain a Blue Level Sponsorship from a friend or family member to match their own individual donation.

Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor may contact the K.P.D. Professional Standards Unit at 423-229-9433.

Cash donations must be hand-delivered. Donations by check may either be hand-delivered or mailed. Checks should be written to “K.P.D. Employee Fund” with “No-Shave Fall-vember” written in the memo line on the bottom left of the check.

Mailed checks must be received by December 31st and should be sent to:

K.P.D. Employee Fund

No-Shave Fall-vember Campaign

200 Shelby Street

Kingsport, TN 37660

All monies raised through K.P.D.’s “No-Shave Fall-vember” campaign will be donated to local children’s charities and non-profits. This year, upon completion of the campaign, all funds raised will be evenly distributed between the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport and Girls Inc.

“Today, more than ever, we see how organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kingsport and Girls Inc. are making a difference in the lives of young people in our community. By providing a safe environment and positive programs in academics, athletics, leadership, life-skills, and character-development, they are positively impacting our next generation of citizens and directing them down the path toward success,” said Chief of Police Dale Phipps. “I genuinely hope that each of you consider making a contribution to this worthy cause. It is imperative that organizations that are dedicated to making investments into children’s lives have the proper funding in order to meet the needs of those who are less fortunate than others. We want to express our sincere appreciation to all employees, citizens, and our community partners for their generous support toward this campaign.”

Effective January 1, 2023, K.P.D. employees will return to the traditional conservative appearance standards that citizens have come to expect.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: K.P.D. Announces Fall 2022 Police Applicant Testing Session with Plans to Hire Several Officers (Reminder)

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: K.P.D. Announces Fall 2022 Police Applicant Testing Session with Plans to Hire Several Officers (Reminder)
DATE: August 25, 2022
GENERAL NARRATIVE
The Kingsport Police Department has scheduled the next Police Applicant Testing Session for Tuesday, September 27, 2022 in anticipation of hiring several officers to fill any existing and upcoming vacancies. While K.P.D. now accepts applications year-round, in order to participate in this upcoming session, applications must be received by absolutely no later than Sunday, September 11, 2022. Any applications received after that date will be held until the next testing session.

Individuals who are interested in a rewarding career with a professional law enforcement agency are strongly encouraged to apply. All applicants must be a United States citizen and either already be at least 21 years of age or be turning 21 by no later than March 27, 2023. All applications must be submitted online using the following link:

https://www.GovernmentJobs.com/Careers/Kingsport

Following the September 11th deadline, all applicants will receive a confirmation email, as well as a letter by traditional mail, containing further instructions regarding the upcoming Police Applicant Testing procedures, as well as the exact date, time, and location that they are to report for testing.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE WILL NOT BE A WRITTEN EXAMINATION AS PART OF THIS TESTING PROCESS.

All applicants will begin the testing process with a physical agility evaluation. The physical agility evaluation will be administered on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. This session will be conducted at Domtar Park, located at 1414 Riverport Road in Kingsport.

The physical agility evaluation will consist of a timed one-mile run and a timed roughly one-quarter-mile obstacle course designed to measure fitness, strength, agility, endurance, and perseverance as related to the duties of a Police Officer. Individuals must have an application on file and sign a waiver of liability in order to be eligible to participate.

The applications of those candidates who successfully pass the physical agility evaluation will be reviewed for eligibility and suitability to move forward to the interview panel phase which will be conducted during the following week of October 3-7, 2022. General criteria to be considered for selection for an interview will be outlined in the confirmation email and letter each applicant will receive.

Those applicants with the highest combined scores on the physical agility evaluation and interview panel will then be interviewed by the Chief of Police to determine the final selections. Those ultimately selected will also be subject to a medical examination, psychological evaluation, and a thorough background investigation prior to actual hiring.

The current starting salary for Police Officer Trainee has recently been increased to $18.73 per hour or $38,962 annually. Applicants who are already certified law enforcement officers may be eligible for additional salary adjustments to compensate for prior experience if certain criteria are met. Academy training and all essential equipment including uniforms, firearms, body armor, and duty gear are provided by the department. K.P.D. also issues take-home police cruisers to officers meeting specific response-time requirements.

City of Kingsport employee benefits include direct payroll deposit; paid vacation, holiday, and sick leave; employee life insurance; optional supplemental and dependent life insurance; long-term disability; health insurance; optional dental and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts; education tuition and fitness membership reimbursements, Mission Square 401 retirement; and optional Mission Square 457 retirement.

For additional information regarding the application process, please call the City of Kingsport Human Resources Department at 423-229-9401. For additional information regarding a law enforcement career at the Kingsport Police Department, please call the K.P.D. Professional Standards Unit at 423-229-9433.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Pedestrian Seriously Injured in Crash After Chasing Dog into Busy Roadway (Update)

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Pedestrian Seriously Injured in Crash After Chasing Dog into Busy Roadway (Update)
DATE: August 22, 2022
CASE #: 22-016217
GENERAL NARRATIVE
Update: Late on the afternoon of August 22, 2022, investigators were officially notified by medical professionals that Gordon Gale Johnson succumbed to his injuries sustained in the crash and died while still hospitalized. The associated investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit remains active and ongoing.

As previously released:

On August 22, 2022 at approximately 1:00 PM, the Kingsport Police Department Traffic Unit responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian in the 900 block of Lynn Garden Drive in Kingsport. The subsequent investigation revealed the following:

A light blue 2020 Honda Odyssey minivan, driven and solely occupied by Darshankumar Karshanbhai Patel of Kingsport, appears to have been traveling lawfully northbound on Lynn Garden Drive, when a pedestrian, Gordon Gale Johnson of Kingsport, suddenly ran into the roadway, directly into its path, chasing after a dog.

Mr. Patel was unable to avoid a collision, and his minivan struck Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson was seriously injured in the collision and was transported by Sullivan County EMS to an area medical facility where he remains hospitalized.

This crash remains under open and active investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit. As such, no further details are available for release at this time.

PEDESTRIAN INFORMATION
Name Gordon Gale Johnson
Age 33 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Fatal
COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION
Make Honda
Model Odyssey
Year 2020
Type Minivan
Color Light Blue
Damage Functional Damage
Driver Name Darshankumar Karshanbhai Patel
Age 49 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Indian
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries No Injury
RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Pedestrian Seriously Injured in Crash After Chasing Dog into Busy Roadway

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Pedestrian Seriously Injured in Crash After Chasing Dog into Busy Roadway
DATE: August 22, 2022
CASE #: 22-016217
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On August 22, 2022 at approximately 1:00 PM, the Kingsport Police Department Traffic Unit responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian in the 900 block of Lynn Garden Drive in Kingsport. The subsequent investigation revealed the following:

A light blue 2020 Honda Odyssey minivan, driven and solely occupied by Darshankumar Karshanbhai Patel of Kingsport, appears to have been traveling lawfully northbound on Lynn Garden Drive, when a pedestrian, Gordon Gale Johnson of Kingsport, suddenly ran into the roadway, directly into its path, chasing after a dog.

Mr. Patel was unable to avoid a collision, and his minivan struck Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson was seriously injured in the collision and was transported by Sullivan County EMS to an area medical facility where he remains hospitalized.

This crash remains under open and active investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit. As such, no further details are available for release at this time.

PEDESTRIAN INFORMATION
Name Gordon Gale Johnson
Age 33 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Suspected Major Injury
COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION
Make Honda
Model Odyssey
Year 2020
Type Minivan
Color Light Blue
Damage Functional Damage
Driver Name Darshankumar Karshanbhai Patel
Age 49 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Indian
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries No Injury
RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Department Takes Top Honors at TN Lifesavers Conference and Law Enforcement Challenge

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Department Takes Top Honors at TN Lifesavers Conference and Law Enforcement Challenge
DATE: August 22, 2022
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On Friday, August 19, 2022, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) recognized the achievements of law enforcement agencies statewide during its Tennessee Lifesavers Conference and 18th Annual Law Enforcement Challenge. This year, 39 Law Enforcement Challenge applications were submitted: 11 from West Tennessee, 11 from Middle Tennessee, nine from East Tennessee, eight from the Cumberland Region, and one submission from each of the Tennessee Highway Patrol districts.

The Kingsport Police Department was awarded top honors in several categories. Not only did K.P.D. place first in the 101-200 officer department division, but K.P.D. was also named the “Overall Winner” as the highest scoring department in the entire Tennessee Law Enforcement Challenge. Additionally, K.P.D.’s winning entry was pitted regionally against that of the winner of a similar competition in the neighboring state of Georgia and once again, K.P.D. came out on top.

“I have always believed that traffic enforcement is one of the most important duties of a Police Officer. Not only does this make our streets safer for the motoring public, but it carries over to every other aspect of law enforcement. Arrests of dangerous fugitives wanted for serious crimes can often result from a routine traffic stop for a simple traffic violation,” said Chief of Police Dale Phipps. “Awards such as these result from a department wide effort. I applaud the hard work and dedication of all of our officers who made these awards possible and thank them for a job well done.”

Officer Matt McGuire and Officer Aaron Grimes of the K.P.D. Traffic Unit represented K.P.D. at this year’s Lifesavers Conference in Franklin, TN with Officer McGuire accepting the three awards on behalf of the department. In addition to his duties as a Kingsport Police Officer, Officer McGuire serves as the East Tennessee Network Coordinator for the Tennessee Highway Safety Office.

The Law Enforcement Challenge is an annual competition designed to recognize and reward the best overall traffic safety programs across the state. Similar sizes and types of agencies are judged on their local efforts to enforce laws and educate the public about impaired driving, speeding, and occupant protection.

The winning safety programs combine officer training, public information, and enforcement to reduce crashes and injuries within their jurisdiction. The ultimate goal of the Law Enforcement Challenge is to save lives.

Pictured left to right in the above photo: KPD Officer and THSO East Tennessee Network Coordinator Matt McGuire and THSO East Tennessee Law Enforcement Liaison Derrick Woods
RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Multijurisdictional Motor Vehicle Theft and Auto Burglary Investigation Recovers over Half Million Dollars in Stolen Property, Identifies 8 Suspects (Nearly All Juveniles), Felony Charges Pending (Update)

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Multijurisdictional Motor Vehicle Theft and Auto Burglary Investigation Recovers over Half Million Dollars in Stolen Property, Identifies 8 Suspects (Nearly All Juveniles), Felony Charges Pending (Update)
DATE: August 15, 2022
CASE #: Multiple
GENERAL NARRATIVE
Update: The Kingsport Police Department has received several citizen inquiries regarding unclaimed property recovered during the recent motor vehicle theft and auto burglary investigation. Please be advised that all previously stolen vehicles and other properties that have been recovered during this investigation to date have been returned to their rightful owners.

As previously released:

Over the past month, the Kingsport Police Department Criminal Investigations Division has been investigating a series of coordinated motor vehicle thefts and auto burglaries occurring throughout the City of Kingsport and surrounding jurisdictions. From July 1, 2022 to the present, nearly 50 motor vehicle thefts and over 120 auto burglaries have been reported.

The massive scope of this investigation has necessitated a large-scale multi-jurisdictional cooperative effort, involving hundreds of man-hours, in partnership with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Johnson City Police Department, the Mount Carmel Police Department, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, and other area law enforcement agencies.

Detectives discovered that two rings of criminals, operating completely independent of one another, were responsible for the vast majority of these crimes. In all, eight total suspects have been identified, seven of whom are juveniles between the ages of 13 and 15. The sole adult suspect just turned 18 year of age. Extensive criminal charges are pending and will include such offenses as multiple counts of Motor Vehicle Theft, Auto Burglary, Vandalism, and Possession of Stolen Firearms.

Just as significant, Investigators have cleared over 100 cases, and recovered over a half million dollars ($527,500) in stolen property, which includes 33 of the stolen vehicles and 5 of the stolen firearms.

“While several agencies and individuals played significant roles in this investigation, I want to specifically recognize Detective Robbie Mills and Detective Jason Powers of the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division for their personal contributions to this case,” said K.P.D. Chief of Police Dale Phipps. “Their hard work and tireless dedication is noticed and appreciated.”

It is extremely important to point out that every single vehicle that was stolen had been left unlocked, with the key either in the actual vehicle or easily accessible nearby. And every single vehicle that was burglarized was also unlocked. None of the vehicles were forcibly entered. The criminals did not use any specialized tools, skills, or high-tech gadgetry to access these vehicle. They simply opened unlocked doors.

Not only was this obvious by the lack of any sign of forced entry, but it was also corroborated by statements made by the suspects, and confirmed by surveillance video footage. The suspects walked from vehicle to vehicle, lifting door handles. If the vehicle was locked, they walked away. If the vehicle was unlocked, they burglarized it. If the unlocked vehicle also had the key in it, they stole it.

This common criminal technique of actively searching for, and only targeting, unlocked vehicles is known as “car hopping,” a term promulgated on social media and actually uttered by the suspects themselves during interviews with Detectives.

As such, the Kingsport Police Department continues to stress the importance of utilizing simple, common-sense, crime prevention measures to help prevent these types of crimes from occurring.

· Never leave your vehicle unlocked while unattended.

· Never leave the key (or electronic key fob) inside your parked and unoccupied vehicle.

· Never leave your car key (or electronic key fob) in an unsecure location.

· Never leave your vehicle running unless you are actually in it.

· Never leave items of real or perceived value in plain sight inside your vehicle.

“By imploring citizens to practice these basic strategies, we are absolutely not blaming the victims of these crimes,” stressed K.P.D. Public Information Officer Tom Patton. “These crimes are the responsibility of the criminals and the criminals alone; however, it is incumbent upon all law abiding citizens to do their part in helping prevent these crimes of opportunity from happening, especially if it is something as simple as locking a door.”

Due to the active nature of this investigation, the pending charges, and the involvement of juvenile suspects, no further details can or will be released at this time.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Osage Drive Homicide Investigation Underway by Kingsport Police (Update #2: Second Arrest)

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

www.KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Osage Drive Homicide Investigation Underway by Kingsport Police (Update #2: Second Arrest)
DATE: August 12, 2022
CASE #: 20-023986
GENERAL NARRATIVE
Update #2: The November 15, 2020 homicide on Osage Drive in Kingsport has been under constant investigation by the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division since the date it occurred.

As previously released in May 2021, Detectives have already identified, charged, and arrested one suspect, Jonathan L. Smith, for his role in the death of Eduardo Oviedo-Velazco.

Over the course of the continuing investigation, a second suspect, Lekendrick D. Malone, has also been identified.

On July 13, 2022, additional facts of the case were presented to the Sullivan County Grand Jury, which returned a true bill of indictment, charging Mr. Malone with multiple felonies for his role in the death of Eduardo Oviedo-Velazco. A capias was subsequently issued for his arrest.

Mr. Malone’s charges include:

1) First Degree Murder

2) Felony Murder

3) Attempted First Degree Murder

4) Aggravated Burglary

On August 8, 2022, Mr. Malone was arrested in Knoxville, TN by the United States Marshals Service Smoky Mountain Fugitive Task Force. He was transported back to Sullivan County the following day, where he remains incarcerated in the Sullivan County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 bond. In addition to the above offenses, he is also facing Violation of Probation charges.

The Kingsport Police Department wishes to thank the U.S. Marshals Service for helping bring this wanted fugitive to justice.

This remains a very active and ongoing investigation with additional charges likely pending. As such, no further details can or will be released at this time.

As previously released:

Update: The November 15, 2020 homicide on Osage Drive in Kingsport has been under constant investigation by the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division since the date it occurred.

On April 28, 2021, the facts of the case were presented to the Sullivan County Grand Jury which returned a true bill of indictment, charging Jonathan L. Smith with multiple felonies for his role in the death of Eduardo Oviedo-Velazco. A capias was subsequently issued for his arrest.

Mr. Smith’s charges include:

1) First Degree Murder

2) Felony Murder

3) Attempted First Degree Murder

4) Aggravated Burglary

On May 22, 2021, Mr. Smith was arrested on independent unrelated charges during a routine traffic stop by the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office. Upon his release from HCSO custody, he was arrested by the Kingsport Police Department on the outstanding capias.

He was transported to the Kingsport City Jail for processing, but has since been transported to the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville where he remains confined, awaiting arraignment, with no current eligibility for bond.

As this remains an active and ongoing criminal investigation with the possibility of additional charges pending, absolutely no additional details will be released at this time.

As previously released:

On November 15, 2020 at approximately 1:00 AM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to a reported shooting incident at a residence in the 1600 block of Osage Drive in Kingsport. Upon arrival, Officers located Eduardo Oviedo-Velazco (26 year old adult male) inside the residence, deceased as a result of what appeared to be a gunshot wound.

K.P.D. Detectives responded to the scene, and a homicide investigation is currently underway. Based upon their findings thus far, this appears to be an isolated incident with no known immediate danger to the public at large. As this investigation remains active and ongoing, no further details are available for release at this time. Additional information will be released as it develops, but only at an appropriate point in the investigation.

Anyone who has any information related to this incident which might be able to assist Detectives with their investigation is asked to contact the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division at 423-229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111.

Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available at the following link:

https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/police-department/contact-us

SUSPECT #1 INFORMATION
Name Jonathan L. Smith
Age 28 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Black
Residency Kingsport, TN
Charge(s) 1) First Degree Murder

2) Felony Murder

3) Attempted First Degree Murder

4) Aggravated Burglary

SUSPECT #2 INFORMATION
Name Lekendrick D. Malone
Age 24 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Black
Residency Trenton, TN
Charge(s) 1) First Degree Murder

2) Felony Murder

3) Attempted First Degree Murder

4) Aggravated Burglary

5) Also Facing Violation of Probation Charges

DECEDENT INFORMATION
Name Eduardo Oviedo-Velazco
Age 26 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Hispanic
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Fatal Gunshot Wound
RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Multijurisdictional Motor Vehicle Theft and Auto Burglary Investigation Recovers over Half Million Dollars in Stolen Property, Identifies 8 Suspects (Nearly All Juveniles), Felony Charges Pending

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Multijurisdictional Motor Vehicle Theft and Auto Burglary Investigation Recovers over Half Million Dollars in Stolen Property, Identifies 8 Suspects (Nearly All Juveniles), Felony Charges Pending
DATE: August 11, 2022
CASE #: Multiple
GENERAL NARRATIVE
Over the past month, the Kingsport Police Department Criminal Investigations Division has been investigating a series of coordinated motor vehicle thefts and auto burglaries occurring throughout the City of Kingsport and surrounding jurisdictions. From July 1, 2022 to the present, nearly 50 motor vehicle thefts and over 120 auto burglaries have been reported.

The massive scope of this investigation has necessitated a large-scale multi-jurisdictional cooperative effort, involving hundreds of man-hours, in partnership with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Johnson City Police Department, the Mount Carmel Police Department, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, and other area law enforcement agencies.

Detectives discovered that two rings of criminals, operating completely independent of one another, were responsible for the vast majority of these crimes. In all, eight total suspects have been identified, seven of whom are juveniles between the ages of 13 and 15. The sole adult suspect just turned 18 year of age. Extensive criminal charges are pending and will include such offenses as multiple counts of Motor Vehicle Theft, Auto Burglary, Vandalism, and Possession of Stolen Firearms.

Just as significant, Investigators have cleared over 100 cases, and recovered over a half million dollars ($527,500) in stolen property, which includes 33 of the stolen vehicles and 5 of the stolen firearms.

“While several agencies and individuals played significant roles in this investigation, I want to specifically recognize Detective Robbie Mills and Detective Jason Powers of the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division for their personal contributions to this case,” said K.P.D. Chief of Police Dale Phipps. “Their hard work and tireless dedication is noticed and appreciated.”

It is extremely important to point out that every single vehicle that was stolen had been left unlocked, with the key either in the actual vehicle or easily accessible nearby. And every single vehicle that was burglarized was also unlocked. None of the vehicles were forcibly entered. The criminals did not use any specialized tools, skills, or high-tech gadgetry to access these vehicle. They simply opened unlocked doors.

Not only was this obvious by the lack of any sign of forced entry, but it was also corroborated by statements made by the suspects, and confirmed by surveillance video footage. The suspects walked from vehicle to vehicle, lifting door handles. If the vehicle was locked, they walked away. If the vehicle was unlocked, they burglarized it. If the unlocked vehicle also had the key in it, they stole it.

This common criminal technique of actively searching for, and only targeting, unlocked vehicles is known as “car hopping,” a term promulgated on social media and actually uttered by the suspects themselves during interviews with Detectives.

As such, the Kingsport Police Department continues to stress the importance of utilizing simple, common-sense, crime prevention measures to help prevent these types of crimes from occurring.

· Never leave your vehicle unlocked while unattended.

· Never leave the key (or electronic key fob) inside your parked and unoccupied vehicle.

· Never leave your car key (or electronic key fob) in an unsecure location.

· Never leave your vehicle running unless you are actually in it.

· Never leave items of real or perceived value in plain sight inside your vehicle.

“By imploring citizens to practice these basic strategies, we are absolutely not blaming the victims of these crimes,” stressed K.P.D. Public Information Officer Tom Patton. “These crimes are the responsibility of the criminals and the criminals alone; however, it is incumbent upon all law abiding citizens to do their part in helping prevent these crimes of opportunity from happening, especially if it is something as simple as locking a door.”

Due to the active nature of this investigation, the pending charges, and the involvement of juvenile suspects, no further details can or will be released at this time.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-343-9749 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: K.P.D. Announces Fall 2022 Police Applicant Testing Session with Plans to Hire Several Officers

Kingsport Police Department

Dale Phipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: K.P.D. Announces Fall 2022 Police Applicant Testing Session with Plans to Hire Several Officers
DATE: August 10, 2022
GENERAL NARRATIVE
The Kingsport Police Department has scheduled the next Police Applicant Testing Session for Tuesday, September 27, 2022 in anticipation of hiring several officers to fill any existing and upcoming vacancies. While K.P.D. now accepts applications year-round, in order to participate in this upcoming session, applications must be received by absolutely no later than Sunday, September 11, 2022. Any applications received after that date will be held until the next testing session.

Individuals who are interested in a rewarding career with a professional law enforcement agency are strongly encouraged to apply. All applicants must be a United States citizen and either already be at least 21 years of age or be turning 21 by no later than March 27, 2023. All applications must be submitted online using the following link:

https://www.GovernmentJobs.com/Careers/Kingsport

Following the September 11th deadline, all applicants will receive a confirmation email, as well as a letter by traditional mail, containing further instructions regarding the upcoming Police Applicant Testing procedures, as well as the exact date, time, and location that they are to report for testing.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE WILL NOT BE A WRITTEN EXAMINATION AS PART OF THIS TESTING PROCESS.

All applicants will begin the testing process with a physical agility evaluation. The physical agility evaluation will be administered on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. This session will be conducted at Domtar Park, located at 1414 Riverport Road in Kingsport.

The physical agility evaluation will consist of a timed one-mile run and a timed roughly one-quarter-mile obstacle course designed to measure fitness, strength, agility, endurance, and perseverance as related to the duties of a Police Officer. Individuals must have an application on file and sign a waiver of liability in order to be eligible to participate.

The applications of those candidates who successfully pass the physical agility evaluation will be reviewed for eligibility and suitability to move forward to the interview panel phase which will be conducted during the following week of October 3-7, 2022. General criteria to be considered for selection for an interview will be outlined in the confirmation email and letter each applicant will receive.

Those applicants with the highest combined scores on the physical agility evaluation and interview panel will then be interviewed by the Chief of Police to determine the final selections. Those ultimately selected will also be subject to a medical examination, psychological evaluation, and a thorough background investigation prior to actual hiring.

The current starting salary for Police Officer Trainee has recently been increased to $18.73 per hour or $38,962 annually. Applicants who are already certified law enforcement officers may be eligible for additional salary adjustments to compensate for prior experience if certain criteria are met. Academy training and all essential equipment including uniforms, firearms, body armor, and duty gear are provided by the department. K.P.D. also issues take-home police cruisers to officers meeting specific response-time requirements.

City of Kingsport employee benefits include direct payroll deposit; paid vacation, holiday, and sick leave; employee life insurance; optional supplemental and dependent life insurance; long-term disability; health insurance; optional dental and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts; education tuition and fitness membership reimbursements, Mission Square 401 retirement; and optional Mission Square 457 retirement.

For additional information regarding the application process, please call the City of Kingsport Human Resources Department at 423-229-9401. For additional information regarding a law enforcement career at the Kingsport Police Department, please call the K.P.D. Professional Standards Unit at 423-229-9433.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Applications Being Accepted for K.P.D. Corrections Officer

Kingsport Police Department

DalePhipps, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://KingsportTN.gov/City-Services/Police-Departmentwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Applications Being Accepted for K.P.D. Corrections Officer
DATE: August 4, 2022
GENERAL NARRATIVE
The City of Kingsport Human Resources Department is currently accepting applications for the position of Corrections Officer with the Kingsport Police Department. Individuals 18 years of age or older who are interested in a criminal justice career are encouraged to apply.

Two positions are currently available. As Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI) regulations require an equal number of male and female Corrections Officers on staff, the current openings are for one male Corrections Officer and one female Corrections Officer.

It is important to note that due to when the two positions became available, the deadline to apply for the male Corrections Officer position is August 14, 2022; however, the deadline to apply for the female Corrections Officer position is August 21, 2022.

All applications must be submitted online using the following link:

https://www.GovernmentJobs.com/Careers/Kingsport

The salary for a Kingsport Police Department Corrections Officer has recently been increased and starts at $15.37 per hour or $31,977 per year. City of Kingsport employee benefits include direct payroll deposit; paid vacation, holiday, and sick leave; employee life insurance; optional supplemental and dependent life insurance; long-term disability; health insurance; optional dental and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts; education tuition and fitness membership reimbursements, Mission Square 401 retirement; and optional Mission Square 457 retirement.

For additional information regarding the application process, please call the City of Kingsport Human Resources Department at 423-229-9401. For additional information regarding the Corrections Officer position, please call the K.P.D. Jail Administrator at 423-229-9424.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton