Last Thursday was a night of celebration fo rthe Middlesboro Police Department as six officers were recognized for their hard work and dedication within the department.
Mayor Rick Nelson welcomed everyone to City Hall for the police department promotion ceremony. Josh Harris, Kenny Vanover and Jordan “Clay” Hurd were promoted to sergeant while Joe Holder, Floyd Patterson and Josh Burchett were promoted to lieutenant
“We are glad that you are here to honor six young men as they have been promoted in their careers and that is a big deal. We want to make it a big deal,” Nelson said as he welcomed the Middlesboro JROTC to the Council Chambers. “We would like to recognize them under the direction of Sgt. Major Jackson along with Clayton Hubbard, Josh Hensley, Blaine Woody and William Hatfield as they present the colors.”
Nelson asked the crowd to stand as Councilman Terry Poore led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Pastor Zach Bay of First Baptist Church in Middlesboro led the crowd in a prayer over the department, the officers, their families and the city of Middlesboro.
“I want to thank you officers for your support and your hard work to get here at this point,” Chief Tom Busic said as he took the microphone. “I also want to thank the families of the officers. You all sacrifice so much more than they do.”
He continued to say that the definition of success once you become a leader is how much you grow through the people around you.
“They were all leaders before they were promoted,” he explained. “So they’re going to serve the department well.”
He said that each one of them had demonstrated that leadership before their promotions.
The first officer to receive his promotion was patrolman Josh Harris, who was promoted to sergeant. Harris has been with the department since January 2004. He served active duty in the United States Air Force and has been married to his wife for eight years.
The next officer to receive his promotion was patrolman Kenny Vanover to sergeant. Vanover has been with the department since August 2006. He has been married to his wife Holly for eight years and they have two sons.
Officer Clay Hurd was promoted to sergeant and has been with the department since June 2009. His father, John David retired from the Middlesboro Police Department as lieutenant with a total of 34 years of service. Clay is a field training officer with the department and he and his wife Andrea have one daughter.
Sgt. Joe Holder was promoted to lieutenant. He has been with the department since May 2003. He was a sergeant for nine years and has been the drug investigator for the majority of his time as sergeant. Holder has a 13-year-old son.
Sgt. Floyd Patterson received a promotion to lieutenant within the department. He has been with the department since January 2004. He was promoted from patrolman to sergeant in 2018. He has been married to his wife Christian for 26 years and they have five children.
The final promotion of the evening was Sgt. Josh Burchett, who was promoted to lieutenant. Burchett has been with the department since January 2004. He is the son of the late Michael and Patsy Burchett. Prior to working for the Middlesboro Police Department, he worked for the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office from 1999 to 2003.
Burchett worked as the K-9 handler and is also the departments range officer. He is responsible for all the firearm training and care of the range. He was promoted to sergeant in 2018. He has been married to his wife Allison for 16 years and they have two children. He is currently the vice-president of the Middleboro Football Youth Program and volunteers with the Middlesboro Little League.
The celebration was closed out with a final prayer and dedication from Pastor Bay.
“By your grace, be present in their pilgrimage, that they may travel with peace and blessed assurance in all they do, Amen,” Bay said.
There are plans to have a ceremony for the Middlesboro Fire Department in the coming weeks, according to Nelson.