Tharpe receives police award

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Recently retired Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) Detective and Camden native Jeff Tharpe received some well-deserved recognition for his dedication to duty on Wednesday, Nov. 28. He was awarded the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Police Award for Nashville and Middle Tennessee after successfully fighting a brain tumor and returning to work.

The award is given to officers who have rendered outstanding and praiseworthy service to the department and the community despite a serious handicap, illness, or injury. The Theodore Roosevelt Association established the award in honor of Roosevelt’s distinguished service while New York City Police Commissioner from 1895-97, and in recognition of his lifelong admiration for the police.

While undergoing a routine physical exam in early 2017, doctors discovered that Tharpe had a loss of vision in his left eye. He was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor and underwent surgery in August 2017. Not yet ready to retire, Tharpe battled back and returned to full duty status two months after surgery.

In 2017 alone, while assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, Tharpe was involved in a number of high profile investigations that led to the apprehension of dangerous fugitives. More than 40 defendants were held accountable on charges including murder, child abuse, home burglary, parole violation, and felony probation violation.

In the summer of 2018, after a rewarding 25-year career, Tharpe chose to retire from the MNPD to pursue other professional opportunities. During his tenure, Tharpe earned a number of awards and even received recognition from the national Top Cop program.

“There have been many ups and downs, trials and tribulations, successes and failures during the wonderful journey called ‘Life.’ I have no regrets and would do it all the same if given another opportunity,” Tharpe said upon receiving the award. “Paying it forward simply allows us to do our Godly duty here on earth, and, as long as I have breath in my body, this is what I will do.”

Through the generosity of award sponsors Rock Solid Roofing Company, Homes for Heroes & Vision Realty Partners, and the Theodore Roosevelt Association, Tharpe received a $1,000 cash award, a medal, and a bust of Theodore Roosevelt. His name also will be added to the bronze Roosevelt Award plaque that is displayed at MNPD headquarters.

“Jeff Tharpe dedicated himself to the safety of Nashville families for 25 years,” Chief Steve Anderson said. “Those who have the privilege of knowing Jeff continue to be inspired by his love of life and people. I am truly proud of him.”

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