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HCSO Deputy to Be Awarded Respect for Law Officer of the Year Award

05/18/2016

Hamilton County, TN – The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and the Scenic Chattanooga Optimist Club are proud to announce that this year's recipient of the "Respect for Law Officer of the Year Award" will be Hamilton County Traffic Investigator, Jeff Gadd. Investigator Gadd will be honored on Friday, May 20th at Noon at the Chattanoogan Hotel.

Investigator Gadd is receiving this prestigious honor for his bravery exhibited during the July 16th shootings when he selflessly carried Chattanooga Police Officer, Dennis Pedigo, to safety after he had been injured in the ensuing gunfight at the Naval/Marine Operations Center on Amnicola Highway.

Investigator Gadd is a seven year veteran of the HCSO and is a former police officer with the City of Soddy Daisy and the city of Chattanooga Police Departments’.

The Respect for Law Officer of the Year Award holds its roots to a program started in 1965 when former FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover and International Optimist Club Past International President, Carl Bowen, created the Respect for Law community program. The program was adopted locally because of the club's belief that it is important for our community to recognize the many positive attributes of local law enforcement personnel who serve and protect the citizens of Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Currently, more than 1,500 Optimist Clubs participate each year in recognizing local law enforcement officers who go above and beyond the call of duty.

"I am very proud of Deputy Gadd and his bravery as he risked his life to save one of his brothers in harm’s way," stated Sheriff Jim Hammond. "His brave and heroic actions certainly exemplify the mission of the Sheriff’s Office and proves his willingness to defend his fellow officers and the public – regardless of the threat. This is a very important and commendable distinction and one that Investigator Gadd is very worthy of receiving."

Nena Powell, President of the Scenic Chattanooga Optimist Club stated, "For over twenty years our Optimist Club has participated in the Optimist International Respect for Law Program. As a community, we are deeply indebted to those who choose a career of service in law enforcement. These men and women serve as the frontline of protection for all of us, and we are proud to honor them. This was certainly made clear to our community during the events of July 16, 2015."

Gary Behler, Hamilton County Juvenile Court Clerk and Chairman of the Scenic Chattanooga Optimist Club Respect for Law Program said, "It has been my honor and privilege to serve as Chairman of the Respect for Law Program for the past sixteen years. Our men and women of law enforcement face an incredibly challenging job every day. When duty called on July 16, 2015, they ran into the fight, not away from it. Every citizen of our community owes them a tremendous debt of gratitude for the service they provide each and every day!"

Investigator Gadd will be honored on Friday, May 20th at Noon at the Chattanoogan Hotel.

The media is invited and encouraged to attend.



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