Success of Literacy Initiative Earns Officer Award

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Success of Literacy Initiative Earns Officer Award

Posted: 08/01/2017
Mattina with Mayor Rogero and Chief RauschKnoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and Police Chief David Rausch named Sgt. Tammy Mattina the April 2017 Officer of the Month.  Sgt. Mattina has been with KPD since April 1989.

The Safety Education Unit began a literacy initiative named “If you can Read, You can Be” in partnership with area youth after school care providers to foster positive community engagement between at-risk youth and law enforcement through modeling and reinforcing literacy skills.  For the pilot program, which began in January, officer mentors were selected to begin meeting and to read with children in four community locations.  Currently, 75 youth are participating in the program with more being added monthly.  

Chief Rausch said, “Because one of the barriers to achieving literacy is access to reading material, Sgt. Mattina partnered with Books-a-Million, Women’s Junior League, and Chrissy Haslam to provide participants with new books as part of the initiative’s incentive program.”

In addition, Sgt. Mattina has set up training by the Knox County Libraries for officers on how to read to children.  Friends of the Knox County Library has also provided several hundred books from their collection to encourage access to high-interest reading material.  Members of the KPD Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association have provided a gift certificate so mentors can purchase books requested by youth.  

“Sgt. Mattina is making a positive difference in the lives of the kids in our communities.  The impact of this literacy initiative can be seen by the smiles on the faces of both the kids and our officers,” Chief Rausch concluded.  

Click here to view a listing of KPD award winners.