Gary Price’s legacy

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Gary Price and KPD Chief Eve Thomas

Former Knoxville Police Department Deputy Chief Gary Price was presented with the 2020 KPD Legacy Award, authorities said Wednesday. 

Price was a 33-year veteran when he retired from KPD in 2014 to work as chief criminal investigator for the Knox County District Attorney’s Office.

Price entered the academy in 1981 and was later assigned to patrol the Western Heights and Lonsdale communities. He soon earned the reputation of an officer that could be counted on without fail to be there when needed, and to act at all times with kindness towards the citizens that he encountered, whether they be suspects, victims or witnesses, according to a City press release.   

After serving in patrol, Price moved into the Metro Organized Crime Unit in the mid-80s, working in that capacity until promoting to Sergeant and returning to patrol. Price continued to promote through the ranks and serve in a number of capacities before ending his career as a Deputy Chief, the same rank that his father, J.D., held at the agency years before, the release said.

“I have personally witnessed Gary Price work every day to help someone and to make our police department better,” recalled KPD Lieutenant Doug Stiles. 

“I have witnessed Investigator Gary Price of the Organized Crime Unit make efforts above and beyond to address a drug complaint that is affecting a neighborhood. I have witnessed Sergeant Gary Price counsel, coach, mentor and even pastor to our younger officers. I have witnessed Lieutenant Gary Price console people after they have suffered a loss. I have witnessed Captain Gary Price run the Violent Crime Unit with compassion and care for all. I have witnessed Deputy Chief Price sacrifice his time off to be a friend to all that needed a friend.” 

Price was viewed as a soft-spoken leader who ushered forth an approach at the KPD that focused as much on engagement as enforcement of the laws to solve problems in the community. 

“Gary Price was one of the first examples of what we try to instill into the officers of today – integrity, honesty, toughness, compassion and selfless service,” Stiles said.

The Legacy Award was established in 2018 to recognize former employees, both sworn and civilian, who exemplified exceptional and meritorious service to KPD and the City and, most importantly, left a lasting legacy that inspired future generations of KPD officers. 

Legacy Award honorees are typically recognized during the department’s Annual Christmas Luncheon, but that event was postponed this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Price was the 12th recipient of a KPD Legacy Award. 

In 2018, eight employees were given Legacy Awards in its inaugural year: Arthur Bohanan, Rudy Bradley, Van Bubel, Danny Crenshaw, Gerald King, James Mason, Gary Shaffer and Tommy Stiles. In 2019, former Chiefs of Police Joe Fowler and Phil Keith and former Captain Charlie Coleman were recognized with 2019 Legacy Awards. 

Published on May 14, 2021