Officer Grantham Presented First Responder Recognition Award

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 Grantham Presented First Responder Recognition Award

Posted: 09/12/2019
Officer GranthamOn Wednesday, September 11, 2019, Knoxville Police Department West District Patrol Officer Ethan Grantham was presented with the First Responder Recognition Award from the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security in Nashville, Tennessee. 

The First Responder Awards ceremony is an annual event held in memory of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, honoring those individuals who have dedicated their lives for the safety and security of Tennesseans. Honorees are nominated by his or her peers and represent the 11 homeland security districts, law enforcement agencies and emergency responders throughout Tennessee, as well as state agencies such as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP). 

Grantham, one of two KPD April Officers of the Month, was selected to receive the First Responder Recognition Award based on his proactive efforts to work drug complaints and interdiction on his beat in West Knoxville while also answering the high volume of calls for service received by evening shift units. 

Following up on information gleaned from a heroin / fentanyl overdose death in 2018, Grantham made multiple traffic stops that ultimately revealed the location of a local source of heroin and fentanyl. In March 2019, Grantham conducted a traffic stop that resulted in the arrest of two suspected suppliers and a large quantity of heroin. Intelligence gathered from that traffic stop led to information on a distributor from Detroit, Mich. 

Grantham continued to work alongside investigators from KPD’s Drug-Related Death Task Force and the Organized Crime Unit to obtain federal indictment of 15 individuals for conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl. Additionally, search warrants were obtained for three locations in Knoxville. 

When all was said and done, nearly one kilo of heroin / fentanyl was confiscated in Knoxville alone along with 10 handguns, three rifles and almost $25,000 in cash. According to the Drug-Related Death Task Force, it was the largest known heroin seizure in the history of Knox County. The information gathered during the operation also led to a search warrant execution in Detroit that turned up another 4.75 kilos of heroin, a firearm and the arrest of a known distributor. 

Grantham’s work on drug interdiction did not end there. In May 2019, he made another traffic stop that resulted in another massive narcotics seizure that included approximately 25 grams of methamphetamine and 14 grams of heroin as well as three high-powered firearms. In late July, Grantham stopped a rental vehicle with two suspects from Detroit that uncovered another 112 grams of heroin.

Officer Grantham’s relentless and tireless efforts to make his beat safer have saved countless lives by taking large quantities of narcotics and the suppliers and distributors of those narcotics off the street. While performing proactive drug interdiction, Grantham continued to answer calls as they were received, and did so with excellence and professionalism. 

Grantham was presented the award by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and State Senator Becky Duncan Massey, who spearheaded the legislation to recognize law enforcement, firefighters and medical first responders.  

Grantham began his tenure at the Knoxville Police Department in April 2013, working in the Animal Control Unit until starting the academy in February 2017. He completed the academy and was sworn in as an officer in August of that year. He has been named the KPD Officer of the Month twice, receiving the honor in May 2018 and April 2019.