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NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- A culture of planning, caring and excellence; it's what takes a municipal Police Department from ordinary to outstanding. And the Clinton Police Department is all that. A model of efficiency and outreach, officers, several with advanced specialty degrees, strive to provide the utmost in community service and training to area schools and other agencies, while being good stewards of the community resources. An extraordinary focus on communication among the department's command staff is reflected in the city's reduction in crime rate. In recognition of the city's efforts to provide a model police department to the community, Clinton will be recognized with a 2014 Tennessee Municipal League Achievement Award for Excellence in Police Service, which will be presented on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at 8:00 a.m. during TML's 75th Annual Conference at the Chattanooga Convention Center in Chattanooga.
It was a banner year for the Clinton Police, as Anderson County Attorney David Clark announced that the department had reduced crime by 20 percent this year. Two years ago, the department's command staff formed the unique habit of meeting each morning to exchange information from the previous 24 hours and plan their strategies for the next 24 hours. While meeting that often is demanding, the results speaks for itself.

"The Clinton Police Department has consistently performed over the last decade and this last year was no exception," said Rex Barton, Municipal Technical Advisory Service police consultant. Taking a leadership role throughout the region, the department's K-9 division currently provides training to eight other law enforcement agencies. Three of the department's five investigators alone hold National Forensic Academy certifications. They extend this training to area schools, where officers developed the Core Safety Program, teaching 5th and 6th graders the basics of gun safety, bike safety, social media and drug/alcohol prevention. The new program replaces the older DARE program. Child safety continues to be a priority in the city of Clinton. The department started the School Resource Officers program in 2013, placing one officer in each of the three K-6 elementary schools. The city and the schools share the cost of the program. Saving thousands of dollars over the past 5 years, the department purchases used vehicles from the Missouri State Police. The vehicles have limited miles and are well maintained. The savings made way for a new command vehicle and a crime scene truck.

Reaching out to the extended community, the department suggested a venue change to the downtown area for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event. "The department "made it happen," said Relay for Life Coordinator Joyce Klee. "They provided the tactical assistance needed to ensure the safety of the teams and participants."

"From patrol officer to the Chief, I don't know of a police department with the quality, commitment, results and culture of excellence of the Clinton Police Department," Clark said. "They have set a standard for the entire state."

Barton agrees, "They are perfect candidates for the TML Excellence in Police Services Award."

Each year the Tennessee Municipal League honors cities throughout the state for overall excellence, improvement, specific out standing programs, or department accomplishments. The Tennessee Municipal League is a voluntary, cooperative organization established by the cities and towns of the state for mutual assistance and improvements. The League's primary function is to advocate on behalf of city governments. TML works with the Tennessee General Assembly promoting legislation helpful to cities and opposing legislation harmful to cities.
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