Officer Honored for Care and Compassion of Elderly Citizen in Need

Communications Director

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

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

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News item

Officer Honored for Care and Compassion of Elderly Citizen in Need

Posted: 11/16/2015
KPD Officer of the MonthKnoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Police Chief David Rausch named Knoxville Police Department Officer Sam Henard the September Officer of the Month.  Officer Henard has been with the department since March 2005.

September 27, 2015, was the last day that a Florida resident had heard from her 90-year-old female friend who lives in Knoxville.  After repeated attempts to contact her over the next few days she called 911 and expressed her concerns about her friend.  Officer Sam Henard responded to her residence on Garden Drive to conduct a welfare check.  Officer Henard checked all windows and doors, but could not see or hear anything.  Officer Henard then checked with her neighbors.  Unfortunately, none of them recalled seeing her in several days.  Officer Henard called all area hospitals in an attempt to locate her.  She was still nowhere to be found.  

Chief Rausch said, “Sam did not give up.  He returned to the house where he knocked repeatedly on the door.  This time he heard a faint muffled voice calling for help.”  

Officer Henard immediately called for the fire department and an ambulance.  The fire department was able to force open a window, which allowed access to the residence.  Once inside, they located the woman lying on the hallway floor and in extremely poor health.  She was immediately rushed to a hospital. 

After Officer Henard completed his shift he went to the hospital to check on the female.  It was determined she had been lying on the floor for about four days and was unable to move due to numerous injuries sustained in a fall including broken bones, muscle damage and severe dehydration.  The medical staff indicated she would have soon died had she not been located and transported immediately for medical treatment.  

Chief Rausch said, “Officer Henard’s work was not complete.  He developed a plan to protect the female in the future.  He reached out to her church to request they check on her on a regular basis.  He placed her name on the list of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Senior Citizens Awareness Network Unit (S.C.A.N.) so they too would keep a check on her.  After that he called the complainant in Florida to provide an update on her friend’s condition and to thank her for calling 911.”

“Officer Henard exhibited compassion in the performance of his duties and his tenacity saved the life of a valued member of our city.  Unfortunately, we are saddened to report that she has recently passed away,” said Chief Rausch.  


Click here to view a listing of previous KPD award winners.