The Franklin Police Department has named Patrol Officer Timothy Lynn the 2013 Office of the Year.
“The Franklin PD is made up of a great group off men and women,” said Lynn. “They are dedicated to their jobs as law enforcement officers, and they are good at what they do. It was an honor to be chosen among them as the officer of the year.”
Each FPD employee was given a ballot and was able to submit it anonymously, to help make the voting more even handed. The nominee must not have received any disciplinary actions within the past year and he/she must demonstrate a dedication and passion for their profession and the citizens they serve.
“Timothy is a hard working officer who sincerely enjoys being a Franklin Police Officer,” said Franklin Police Chief David Adams. “What stands out most to me is that Timothy is a doer and I have never heard him complain about the daily grind of this profession. He is the consummate Police Officer.”
Lynn attended and graduated from Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) through Southwestern Community College in the summer of 2000. In December 2000, he graduated from Western Carolina University with a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Also, in late 2000, then Sheriff Homer Holbrooks opened the door for Lynn's law enforcement career by hiring him to work at the detention center. In addition, Lynn worked as a transport officer and a bailiff at the courthouse, and eventually started working on the road, all on a part-time basis. In late 2001, then Franklin Police Chief Terry Bradley hired Lynn to start working on a parttime basis with the Franklin PD, which led to an offer for a full-time position in April 2002. Lynn has since been employed as a Patrol Officer with the Franklin PD in addition to serving as a Field Training Officer for the training of any new officers at the department.
With 13 years under his belt, Lynn has plenty of stories to tell from his experience as a law enforcement officer. This year, although not something most people would remember, the story that stands out the most came from a simple neighborhood patrol.
“It's not a flashy or headline-grabbing story but a most recent incident that stands out at me was this,” said Lynn. “I was doing a neighborhood patrol the other day and stopped to chat with a homeowner who was out working in his yard. As I usually do when speaking with homeowners in town, I asked how everything was going in their neighborhood and if they had any complaints or concerns. His reply was that things were great now with no problems. He went on to say that a while back the neighborhood started having problems out of one particular house where there was suspected drug activity. Traffic started coming in and out at all hours of the day and night and usually only staying at the house for a few minutes. It was a quiet neighborhood, and they weren't used to these kinds of problems, so he went to the Police Department for assistance. He said that after doing that, he saw the PD step up police patrols in the area and within a short time, the traffic in and out of the residence stopped and things got back to the way he was used to in the quiet neighborhood. To me, this is what I enjoy about being a police officer, helping ensure that residents, business owners, and visitors alike can go about their day to day lives in peace without the nuisance or threat of crime.”
It was that same desire that led Lynn to pursue a career in law enforcement.
“Like most young boys, I was always fascinated with police officers and the work that they do,” Lynn recalled. “I never grew out of that fascination. Also, in my early adulthood, I was able to learn that there were a lot of adults with high paying jobs, but they were miserable doing what they were doing everyday. I decided that I'd much rather choose a career path doing something I enjoyed even if I had to sacrifice pay.”
With countless myths and assumptions about being a law enforcement officer, Lynn believes the hardest part of his profession isn't the back alley fights or high speed chases you see portrayed on television. “The hardest part of the job is probably day in and day out seeing people at their worst,” said Lynn. “We see people when they are in a drunken stupor and are making poor choices, when they are severely depressed and think they want to take their own life, when the stress of everyday life boils over and they take that stress out in a violent manner on their spouse or loved ones, when they realize someone has stolen something they have worked very hard for, when they have just been involved in an accident and the vehicle they rely on to get them to and from work and to get their kids to and from school is no longer drivable. As a law enforcement officer, it's our job to deal with people at their worst and we have to remind ourselves not to get jaded and that humility and compassion are essential characteristics of a successful law enforcement officer.”
While Lynn was named Officer of the Year, other hard working individuals were also recognized for their talents. Sgt. Matt Pellicer was named Supervisor of the Year and Matthew Breedlove was named Community Service Officer of the Year.
“I am proud of the professionalism of the Franklin Police Department,” Franklin Mayor Bob Scott said of all the officers. “The recipients of these awards are chosen by their fellow officers. The Franklin Police Department is outstanding in so many ways including their service to the community, high training standards and dedication to the criminal justice system. The Town of Franklin is fortunate to have such an outstanding law enforcement agency and officers.”