By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ
COOKEVILLE – Sgt. Ben Dukes has been named Cookeville Police Department’s (CPD) Officer of the Year for 2021. The award was presented to Dukes by Chief Randy Evans at the Aug. 5 meeting of the Cookeville City Council.
The Officer of the Year Award is awarded by the Chief to an officer who has intelligently and consistently demonstrated superior performance, initiative, leadership, dedication, professionalism and motivation throughout the year.
Evans said that Dukes was chosen after careful consideration because he was, in the opinion of the selection committee, “the epitome of what a Cookeville Police Officer should look, act and perform like.”
“During his tenure here, Officer Dukes has always been a top producer of self-initiated cases, while still fielding calls for service,” said Evans. “His demeanor and the way he talks to the public bring great pride and professionalism to our department.”
Evans added that Dukes was always quick to assist any other officer at any time and displays an abundance of knowledge about laws and criminal procedure. Noting that his reports were always error free, contain all necessary information, are chronologically correct and are easily read and understood.
Dukes is the current XO for the CPD SWAT Team where he has gained tremendous respect from his peers due to his knowledge and work ethic.
“The trust and responsibililty to maintain all the equipment, weaponry and ammunition, and to make critical decisions, are unprecedented for such a young officer,” said Evans.
“Dukes is without argument one of the best FTO’s (field training officers) we have ever had,” shared Evans. “His patience, knowledge and resourcefulness makes him stand out above the rest when training a new officer. He always ensures that his trainees are more than ready, and capable of being released on their own, when he is done with their training.”
Dukes has been with the CPD for five years and was recently promoted to sergeant in the Patrol Services Division.
“Officer Ben Dukes grew up as part of the Cookeville Police Department and has dedicated much of his adult life to being a top notch police officer,” said Evans. “He is always an ambassador for this department and profession and is a credit to this agency. I can’t think of anyone who would be more deserving of the Officer of the Year Award.