Attention to Detail and Multiple Felony Arrests Earns Officer Special Honor

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Attention to Detail and Multiple Felony Arrests Earns Officer Special Honor

Posted: 04/17/2015
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Police Chief David Rausch today named Officer Todd Gilreath the 2014 Co-Officer of the Year for the Knoxville Police Department. Officer Gilreath has been with the department since January 1994. 

Gilreath is an investigator assigned to the Organized Crime Unit and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. Gilreath and his partner, FBI Special Agent David Bukowski, investigate violent crimes in Knoxville and the Eastern District of Tennessee. 

Chief Rausch said during two consecutive days in March, three violent robberies were committed by a single suspect. The suspect brandished a weapon and threatened employees of a Walgreens and CVS pharmacy as well as a Subway store. Investigator Gilreath and SA Bukowski developed information that identified the suspect and where he was hiding. Investigator Gilreath organized a surveillance operation and after several hours of observation the suspect was apprehended exiting the building. The suspect was charged and convicted in Federal Court on three charges of the Hobbs Act and was sentenced to 40 months per count. 

In July information was developed that an Ohio fugitive wanted on a murder in aid of racketeering charge was hiding in Knoxville. Investigator Gilreath and members of the Safe Street Task Force moved into position and successfully apprehended the suspect. 

The suspect, Ishmael Bowers, was one of 17 members of an Ohio gang who were indicted on charges that include murder, attempted murder, robbery and extortion. This was the largest federal murder indictment in Ohio history. 

Chief Rausch said, "In November 2009, a Hardee's employee was shot in the chest during a robbery. The investigation turned cold and was unlikely to be solved. That was until October 2014 when a Subway was robbed. Todd recognized that the robbery was committed in substantially the same manner as the Hardee's robbery from five years ago." 

Armed with that information, Investigator Gilreath and SA Bukowski went to work. As a result of their tenacity, the suspect confessed to the Hardee's robbery in addition to 13 additional robberies that occurred from 2009 through 2014. 

Chief Rausch said, "These actions represent a small fraction of the work that Investigator Gilreath conducts throughout the year. Todd exemplifies the best that the Knoxville Police Department has to offer as a servant to and caretaker of his community. Congratulations on a job well done."