KPD e-News Release: Police Called to Kingsport School as a Result of a Complete but Honest Misunderstanding

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Police Called to Kingsport School as a Result of a Complete but Honest Misunderstanding
DATE: April 14, 2017
CASE #: 17-008456
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On April 14, 2017 at approximately 9:30 AM, a Kingsport Police Officer serving as a School Resource Officer was already on the campus of John Sevier Middle School, located at 1200 Wateree Street in Kingsport, when he was summoned outside to the area of the track. Due to the nature of the initial complaint, multiple additional Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded as well.

The source of the complaint was a 70 year old man on the property. Students had reported to adult faculty members that they thought they heard the man say that he had a weapon. Students were immediately brought back inside the school and police were notified. After further investigation, this turned out to be a complete but honest misunderstanding.

The man in question lives in the adjacent neighborhood and walks to the Kingsport Senior Center every morning to exercise. He forgot that today was a City of Kingsport holiday, and found the Senior Center closed. On his way back home, he stopped under a shade tree at the edge of the school property to do some stretching exercises.

Several inquisitive students approached him and asked him what he was doing. He replied “Chi Gong.” Chi Gong, also spelled “Qigong,” is an Oriental exercise consisting of body posture, stretching, breathing, and meditation. Apparently the students completely misunderstood the term “Chi Gong” and mistakenly thought they heard him say the phrase “I have a gun.”

The man was sent on his way without further incident, and normal school activities commenced without further delay. The Kingsport Police Department and the Kingsport City Schools commend these students for promptly and courageously reporting what they perceived to be a dangerous situation on their school’s campus.

However, as previously stated, this was a complete but honest misunderstanding. No weapons were on the property, no threats of weapons were ever made, and no students or faculty were ever at any risk.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Two Suspects Arrested Following Stabbing During Parking Lot Fight

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Two Suspects Arrested Following Stabbing During Parking Lot Fight
DATE: April 14, 2017
CASE #: 17-008429
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On April 13, 2017 at approximately 10:30 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers and Detectives were dispatched to a report of a fight that had resulted in a stabbing in the parking lot of McAlister’s Deli, located at 2003 North Eastman Road in Kingsport. Responding officers encountered multiple witnesses who advised that Austin Cody Nidiffer had just stabbed two men. The resultant investigation revealed the following:

Mr. Nidiffer and a 23 year old adult black male victim had encountered one another in the parking lot and a fight ensued. The exact cause of this initial physical altercation is not known. The two disengaged and Mr. Nidiffer returned to the passenger seat of a gold Honda sedan. The black male victim immediately realized that he had been stabbed by Mr. Nidiffer, resulting in severe lacerations to his back.

A second victim, a 20 year old adult white male, witnessed the fight and went to the Honda to prevent Mr. Nidiffer from leaving. Mr. Nidiffer exited the car and stabbed the white male victim resulting in a deep cut to his arm. At the time of this second stabbing, another suspect, Gregory A. Fletcher, was occupying the driver’s seat of the Honda.

Both victims were transported to an area emergency medical facility by Sullivan County E.M.S. for treatment. Both suspects and both victims were previously acquainted with one another prior to this incident.

Inside the Honda, near where Mr. Nidiffer was sitting, officers found a folding knife, believed to have been used in the stabbings. A grinder and a set of digital scales, both commonly associated with illegal drug activity, were located in plain view in the console of the vehicle. Small baggies containing a green plant material believed to be Marijuana were recovered from two locations in the car. One was sticking out from under the passenger seat while another was within a shirt in the back seat.

Mr. Nidiffer and Mr. Fletcher were arrested and transported to the Kingsport City Jail. Mr. Nidiffer was charged with 1) Aggravated Assault, 2) Simple Possession of a Schedule VI Drug (Marijuana), and 3) Possession of Unlawful Drug Paraphernalia. He was also found to be wanted on pre-existing outstanding warrants out of both Sullivan and Washington Counties. He currently remains confined, awaiting arraignment, in lieu of a $31,500 bond as set by the presiding magistrate.

Mr. Fletcher was charged with 1) Simple Possession of a Schedule VI Drug (Marijuana) and 2) Possession of Unlawful Drug Paraphernalia. Mr. Fletcher was later released after posting a $1,500 bond as set by the presiding magistrate.

SUSPECT #1 INFORMATION
Name Austin Cody Nidiffer
Age Date of Birth 1/11/1996

21 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 2327 Highway 126

Bristol, TN

Charge(s) 1) Aggravated Assault

2) Simple Possession of a Schedule VI Drug (Marijuana)

3) Possession of Unlawful Drug Paraphernalia (Grinder and Scales)

4) Also held on pre-existing outstanding warrants out of both Sullivan and Washington Counties

SUSPECT #2 INFORMATION
Name Gregory A. Fletcher
Age Date of Birth 8/1/1995

21 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 1601 Harrison Avenue

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) 1) Simple Possession of a Schedule VI Drug (Marijuana)

2) Possession of Unlawful Drug Paraphernalia (Grinder and Scales)

VICTIM #1 INFORMATION
Name Not Released
Age 23 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/Black
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Severe Lacerations to Back
VICTIM #2 INFORMATION
Name Not Released
Age 20 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Deep Laceration to Arm
RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Chronic Traffic Offender Earns Second Trip to Jail in Same Day After Rear-Ending Sheriff’s Transport Van

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Chronic Traffic Offender Earns Second Trip to Jail in Same Day After Rear-Ending Sheriff’s Transport Van
DATE: April 13, 2017
CASE #: 17-007727 (Previous Driving on Revoked License Arrest)

17-008355 (Morning Arrest)

17-008405 (Afternoon Crash)

17-008406 (Afternoon Arrest)

GENERAL NARRATIVE
A chronic traffic offender has earned a third trip to the Kingsport City Jail in the past eight days, two of which were on the same day. His most recent arrest occurred after he rear-ended a Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office prisoner transport van while apparently driving under the influence.

On April 13, 2017 at approximately 7:30 AM, an officer assigned to the Kingsport Police Department Traffic Unit was traveling westbound on Main Street in Downtown Kingsport, when he noticed a green Ford Ranger pickup weaving back and forth ahead of him. The pickup crossed the double yellow line on two separate occasions and the officer observed that the driver appeared be looking down at something in his lap rather than watching the roadway ahead.

A traffic stop ensued, during which the driver presented a TN Identification Only card, identifying himself as Justin Wayne Porter. Mr. Porter told the officer that he had been attempting to send a text message to his employer to tell him that he was going to be late. Further investigation revealed that Mr. Porter’s driver license was revoked as a result of a total of three previous convictions for Driving Under the Influence. He also could not provide proof of insurance.

He was arrested for Driving on a Revoked License, Texting While Driving, Driving Left of Center, and Violation of Financial Responsibility Law (No Insurance) and transported to the Kingsport City Jail. Mr. Porter was later released approximately two hours later after posting bond.

That same afternoon, at approximately 4:00 PM, Mr. Porter was traveling north on Clinchfield Street near Sullivan Street, still in Downtown Kingsport, in the same green Ford Ranger pickup, when he rear-ended a Ford E-350 van. The van in question was a prisoner transport van owned and operated by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office. The van was loaded with two SCSO deputies and eleven prisoners on a routine transport between the Kingsport Justice Center and the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville.

Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to the scene to investigate. Officers noticed that Mr. Porter appeared disoriented and exhibited several common indicators of impairment to include glazed bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. He performed poorly on a subsequent series of field sobriety tasks. He did not appear injured and declined any medical attention.

Mr. Porter was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (4th offense), Driving on a Revoked License, Following Too Closely, and Violation of Financial Responsibility Law (No Insurance). He was transported to the Kingsport City Jail. Mr. Porter later refused to submit to a Legal Blood Chemical test, netting the additional charge of Violation of Implied Consent.

A Legal Blood Chemical sample was later collected anyway after a search warrant was obtained by the arresting officer. That sample will be forwarded to the T.B.I. Crime Laboratory for analysis. Mr. Porter remains confined in the Kingsport Jail awaiting arraignment.

Mr. Porter’s earlier arrest for Driving on Revoked License occurred just over a week ago on April 5th at the Roadrunner Market, located at 120 West Stone Drive. In that incident, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers were responding to a complaint of a reckless driver when they observed Mr. Porter sitting in the driver’s seat of the same green Ford Ranger pickup, in the act of scratching off lottery tickets. At the time of this arrest, the keys were in the ignition and he was the sole occupant of the pickup, clearly establishing that he was in physical control of the vehicle.

SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name Justin Wayne Porter
Age Date of Birth 4/26/1983

33 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 505 Feathers Court

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) Morning Incident

1) Driving on Revoked License

2) Texting While Driving

3) Driving Left of Center

4) Violation of Financial Responsibility Law (No Insurance)

Afternoon Incident

1) Driving Under the Influence (4th Offense)

2) Violation of Implied Consent

3) Driving on Revoked License

4) Following Too Closely

5) Violation of Financial Responsibility Law (No Insurance)

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Pickup Crashes into West Stone Drive Residence

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Pickup Crashes into West Stone Drive Residence
DATE: April 13, 2017
CASE #: 17-008414
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On April 13, 2017 at approximately 5:30 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers and Crash Reconstructionist were called to the scene of a motor vehicle collision in the 1900 block of West Stone Drive in Kingsport. Their subsequent investigation revealed the following:

A white 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck was eastbound in the 1900 block of West Stone Drive, when for unknown reasons, the truck swerved to the left. The truck crossed over the median, through the oncoming westbound traffic lanes, exited the roadway, traveled up an embankment, and crashed into an adjacent residence.

While a family of four were home and inside the residence at the time, none of them appear to have been injured by the collision. First responders discovered that the adult male driver of the pickup was experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency that appeared to have occurred independent of the crash, and was quite possibly the cause of the crash.

Sullivan County E.M.S. responded and transported the driver to a local emergency medical facility where he was admitted in critical condition. This remains an open and active crash investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit, and as such, no additional details will be released at this time.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Discovery of Human Remains in Midfield Community Positively Linked to 2004 Missing Person Cold Case

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Discovery of Human Remains in Midfield Community Positively Linked to 2004 Missing Person Cold Case
DATE: April 12, 2017
CASE #: 04-035883 (Original Missing Person Case)

17-007413 (Discovery of Remains)

GENERAL NARRATIVE
On October 30, 2004, David Ratliff was reported missing to the Kingsport Police Department by his sister. His sister advised that he suffered from multiple medical afflictions. She said that he was treated at Holston Valley Medical Center for injuries sustained in a fall approximately one month earlier, but he had not been seen or heard from since.

Mr. Ratliff was 41 years of age when he was reported missing. At the time of his disappearance, he resided in a rental home, located in the 1500 block of Fairview Avenue in Kingsport. This has remained an open and active missing person investigation by the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division for the past 12 ½ years.

On April 1, 2017 at approximately 3:15 PM, a woman was walking through a wooded area in the Midfield community of Kingsport when she discovered human skeletal remains. She immediately notified the Kingsport Police Department. Detectives from the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division, with support from the East Tennessee State University Forensic Center and the University of Tennessee Department of Anthropology, responded to the scene to fully investigate the find.

This discovery was located approximately 200 yards from where Mr. Ratliff resided in 2004. The remains were initially transported to the ETSU Forensic Center in Johnson City, where they have now been positively identified as that of David Ratliff. Mr. Ratliff’s remains have since been transferred to the UT Department of Anthropology in Knoxville, for a full forensic examination. That procedure is still underway with the cause of death yet to be determined.

While the missing person portion of the original case is no longer in question, it remains an active unexplained death investigation by the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division. As such, no additional details will be released at this time.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Communications Specialists of Kingsport 9-1-1 Honored During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

www.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Communications Specialists of Kingsport 9-1-1 Honored During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week
DATE: April 10, 2017
GENERAL NARRATIVE
The Communications Specialists, also known as Dispatchers, of the Kingsport Emergency Communications District, are being honored this week, April 9 through 15, 2017, as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW). Communications Specialists are the calm, yet highly trained, voice on the phone whenever a citizen calls 9-1-1 to report an emergency.

Every year during the second week of April, telecommunications personnel in the public safety community are honored. This week-long event was originally created in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office in California. Her goal was to set aside a time to celebrate and thank these individuals who dedicate their lives to serving the public, and make people aware of their hard work and dedication.

The Communications Specialists of Kingsport Central Dispatch process roughly a quarter of a million telephone calls annually. Approximately twenty percent (50,000) of these calls are emergency calls to 9-1-1. Although a division of the Kingsport Police Department, Kingsport Central Dispatch also provides services for the Kingsport Fire Department, Sullivan County E.M.S., Kingsport Life Saving Crew, and other city departments and functions.

Kingsport Central Dispatch moved into the new 7,500 square foot, state-of-the-art, 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center in Downtown Kingsport in October 2015. Central Dispatch had previously been housed in a cramped 1,000 square foot space on the second floor of the Kingsport Justice Center since 1989. Prior to that, Central Dispatch operated out of the basement of the Civic Auditorium.

Over the past 20 years, Kingsport Central Dispatch has only increased the number of Communications Specialists from 14 to 16. Meanwhile, the number of citizens calls for Police, Fire, and E.M.S. service and the population, square miles, and road miles of the City of Kingsport have all increased exponentially. This exemplifies true dedication to public safety by continuing to provide excellent 9-1-1 service in the face of significantly increased work volume.

Kingsport Central Dispatch personnel serve under the supervision of the 9-1-1 Director, Lieutenant Steve Hammonds, and include a Communications Supervisor, a Technical Services Coordinator, 4 Shift Leaders, and more than a dozen Communications Specialists, all of whom are Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) certified. The Kingsport Police Department would like to take this opportunity to express sincere gratitude to all of the employees of Kingsport 9-1-1 and congratulate them on a job well done.

Last year, Nancy Fender, Communications Dispatch Supervisor, was named “Dispatch Supervisor of the Year” by the Tennessee Emergency Number Association (TENA) at their annual conference held in Chattanooga, TN. She has also been certified by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) as an Emergency Number Professional (ENP) since 2013. The ENP program was established in 1994 as a way to establish a benchmark of performance for professionals in the 9-1-1 field.

In addition to Ms. Fender, three other employees of Kingsport Central Dispatch have recently achieved their ENP Certification. These additional certified Emergency Number Professionals include Richie Hite, Technical Services Coordinator, Christy Swiney, Communications Shift Leader, and Catherine Matt, Communications Specialist.

In order to be certified as an ENP, applicants must first meet eligibility requirements that include a combination of experience, education, and professional development in the 9-1-1 field. Candidates then must pass a rigorous examination that demonstrates a mastery of the comprehensive knowledge base required of emergency number program management.

For additional information regarding Kingsport Central Dispatch, please visit the following links:

https://www.KingsportTN.gov/Police-Department/Administrative_Bureau/Central_Dispatch/

http://Kingsport911.org/

For additional information regarding National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week or the National and Tennessee Emergency Number Associations, please visit the following links:

http://www.NPSTW.org/

http://www.NENA.org/

https://www.TENA911.com/

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: The City of Kingsport is Accepting Applications in an Effort to Fill Five Police Officer Vacancies (3rd Notice)

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

www.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: The City of Kingsport is Accepting Applications in an Effort to Fill Five Police Officer Vacancies (3rd Notice)
DATE: April 10, 2017
GENERAL NARRATIVE
Reminder: This is the third notice. There are only two weeks remaining to apply to become a Kingsport Police Officer. All applications must be submitted online, no later than April 23, 2017, using the following link:

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

Applicants are strongly encouraged to order and begin studying their study guide(s) immediately. Study guides are available for purchase at the following link:

http://www.publicsafetycompass.com

A short highlight video of the Kingsport Police Department has been made available for viewing on the K.P.D. YouTube channel via the following link:

https://youtu.be/UMgNSEFmCTA

Detailed information regarding the application and upcoming testing process as previously released follows:

The City of Kingsport Human Resources Department is currently accepting applications for the position of Police Officer. The Kingsport Police Department is hoping to hire at least five (5) new officers out of this application process to fill existing vacancies. Applications will be accepted beginning March 25, 2017 until April 23, 2017.

Individuals who are interested in a career in law enforcement are encouraged to apply. All applicants must either already be at least 21 years of age or be turning 21 by no later than November 16, 2017. Applicants are asked to only submit their application once, as weeding out duplicate applications hampers efficiency. All applications must be submitted online using the following link:

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

Following the April 23rd 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. All applicants will undergo a series of assessments, beginning with a written examination on the morning of May 16, 2017. The written examination will be administered at the Civic Auditorium, located at 1550 Fort Henry Drive in Kingsport.

While not a requirement, applicants are strongly encouraged to invest in the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) “Entry-Level Police” study guide or “Police Study Guide Bundle” to assist them in preparing for this examination. These study guides are currently priced very reasonably at $20 and $30 respectively and are available for purchase at the following link:

http://www.publicsafetycompass.com

Applicants who successfully pass the written examination will advance forward to a physical agility evaluation the same afternoon. 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, and endurance as related to the duties of a Police Officer.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in a voluntary practice session for the physical agility evaluation. This session will take place on May 2, 2017 at 1:00 PM (two weeks prior to the actual test date) at Domtar Park, located at 1414 Riverport Road in Kingsport. Individuals must have an application on file and sign a waiver in order to be eligible to participate in this practice session.

A series of interviews will follow the written examination and physical agility evaluation, beginning with an interview panel and ultimately an interview with the Chief of Police, to further vet the top performing candidates and determine the final selections.

The current starting salary for Police Officer Trainee is $15.76 per hour or $32,791 annually. Applicants who are already certified law enforcement officers may be eligible for a salary adjustment 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 residency 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 insurance; flexible spending accounts; ICMA RC 401 retirement; and optional ICMA RC 457 retirement.

A short highlight video of the Kingsport Police Department has been made available for viewing on the K.P.D. YouTube channel via the following link:

https://youtu.be/UMgNSEFmCTA

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. Public Information Officer at 423-229-9433.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit