Investigation of Suspect Mailing Threatening Letters Earns Officer Award

Communications Deputy Director

Eric Vreeland
(865) 215-3480

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

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Investigation of Suspect Mailing Threatening Letters Earns Officer Award

Posted: 08/01/2017
Mark Taylor with Mayor Rogero and Chief RauschKnoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Chief David Rausch named Officer Mark Taylor the February Officer of the Month for the Knoxville Police Department.  Officer Taylor has been with KPD since August 1998.  Taylor is currently assigned as an investigator in the Intelligence Unit.  

Over the course of several months, individuals within our community received very disturbing, graphic, and hate filled communications from an unknown individual.  Investigator Taylor was assigned the case and quickly opened an investigation.  The letters appeared to have been sent from a local business owner.  Mark spoke with the individual who had allegedly signed the letters and that individual denied any involvement or having any knowledge of the communications. 

Chief Rausch said, “The investigation was complex and required Investigator Taylor to spend numerous hours and resources following possible leads.  As Investigator Taylor’s investigation progressed, Mark became increasingly aware the case was involving multiple violations of the law at several levels.”  

Investigator Taylor enlisted the help of Special Agent K.T. Harper of the FBI Knoxville Office to assist with the investigation.  After writing and executing a search warrant on the suspect’s place of residence, multiple pieces of crucial evidence were collected.  The suspect, Justin Lamar Coleman, was charged in Federal court and has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.  
Chief Rausch said, “Mark did an outstanding job of tracking down the source of the letters, securing the search warrant, and preparing a case that ultimately led to the suspect striking a deal to plead guilty.  This is a small example of the quality of work Mark does throughout the year.  We congratulate him on a job well done.”

Click here to view a listing of KPD award winners.