Knox County
Sheriff's Office

Knox County
Sheriff's Office

KCSO

OFFICER MEMORIAL

We at the Knox County Sheriff’s Office like to honor those individuals who paid the ultimate price in the service of their community.  

If you would like information on what you can do to help, visit our Officer Assistance Program page to learn more.

Knox County, TN

Fallen Officers

Officer Tucker Blakely

Sunday, October 1, 2023, at approximately 11:15 pm, KCSO Officer Tucker Blakely, alongside his Echo Shift Colleagues, responded to a home in West Knox County to a call for help from a family in need. And they did what they do every day: answer the call. Once on scene, and for reasons unknown, a man began firing at KCSO Officers. Officers returned fire, killing the suspect. Officer Blakely was shot in the exchange of gunfire. AMR rushed him to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where, despite the efforts of EMS and the UT Medical Team, he died due to those injuries. Losing Officer Tucker Blakely is a painful reminder of how fragile life can be and how brave and selfless our Officers are. Officer Tucker Blakely was 29 years old. He leaves behind his wife, Katarina, a beautiful 5-year-old son, parents Mary & Tim Blakely, and two brothers, Ty (TJ) and Tyler Blakely. Officer Blakely graduated from the Knox County Regional Training Academy in 2021. Before completing KCSO’s Regional Training Academy, Officer Blakely served as a corrections officer in our corrections division, where he was respected and loved by his peers and supervisors alike. Most recently, Tucker was selected as a candidate for KCSO’s K-9 Handlers course. His K9 Partner, ENOCH, was placed with him two days before Tucker was shot. Tucker had dreams of being a K9 Handler and was excited for this new step in his career. Unfortunately, Officer Blakely will never be able to live out that dream—the life of a servant taken far too soon. In addition to serving his community, Officer Blakely also proudly served his country in the United States Army. Tucker’s last act of service was as an organ donor. There are people we may never know alive today because of his servant spirit. Tucker lived as a hero, and he died a hero; we at the Knox County Sheriff’s Office are better for having known Tucker. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office will remain faithful in honoring his memory!

Officer Toby Keiser

Officer Toby Keiser Officer Toby Keiser- On January 18, 2021, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office lost another one of our own. Warrants Officer Toby Keiser left this earth after fiercely battling the effects of COVID-19 for his Heavenly home. Officer Keiser served at the Knox County Sheriff’s Office from December 14, 1992, until he retired on June 23, 2017. On October 12, 2020, Officer Keiser rejoined the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in the Warrants Unit. One of his most treasured accomplishments as a KCSO deputy, was being one of the first mounted patrolmen in the agency. There’s no doubt he’s left a lasting impact on the many men and women that he mentored throughout the years, but the fondest memories will be those celebrated not just as colleagues or brothers and sisters in blue but as lifelong friends. Sheriff Tom Spangler and Chief Deputy Bernie Lyon would like to acknowledge not only his faithful service to Knox County and to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office but to our country as well. Toby Keiser served in the United States Military where he received an honorable discharge

Angela Payne head shot

Officer Angela Payne

Officer Angela Payne was responding to a call of a shooting in Northwest Knox County on February 26, 2000 just before 2:00 a.m. when she was struck by a motorist while standing in the road confronting a suspect.  Angela Payne never regained consciousness and died from her injuries that same day.  Payne, who was 31 years old had been with the Sheriff's Department since 1997 and was a 1998 graduate of the Sheriff's Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy.  She had become a Patrol Officer in 1999.

Chief Keith Lyon smiling on phone

Chief Keith Lyon

Chief Deputy Keith Lyon served the Knox County Sheriff’s office for 18 years before he was killed on May 9, 2006 in an automobile accident on Schaad Road when another vehicle crossed the center line and struck his department SUV head-on. Tim Hutchison, the Sheriff at the time of the incident, stated that “Chief Lyon was a dedicated worker and personal friend and will a great loss for the department. It's very hard even though we are a large agency and have 1,000 employees. Everyone is fairly close. We work together and have worked together for along time." There are very few places inside The Sheriff’s Office where you aren’t reminded of Unit 7 and his lasting impact on the Agency. Chief Keith Lyon would be proud of many things here, most importantly his Brother Chief Deputy Bernie Lyon and his Brother Chaplain Lee Lyon.

Chief Keith Lyon

Chief Deputy Keith Lyon served the Knox County Sheriff’s office for 18 years before he was killed on May 9, 2006 in an automobile accident on Schaad Road when another vehicle crossed the center line and struck his department SUV head-on. Tim Hutchison, the Sheriff at the time of the incident, stated that “Chief Lyon was a dedicated worker and personal friend and will a great loss for the department. It's very hard even though we are a large agency and have 1,000 employees. Everyone is fairly close. We work together and have worked together for along time." There are very few places inside The Sheriff’s Office where you aren’t reminded of Unit 7 and his lasting impact on the Agency. Chief Keith Lyon would be proud of many things here, most importantly his Brother Chief Deputy Bernie Lyon and his Brother Chaplain Lee Lyon.

Chief Keith Lyon smiling on phone
LT McCulley standing and looking at camera

Lieutenant Steve McCulley

Just shortly after noon on Tuesday, February 16, 1999, forty-seven year old Lt. Steve McCulley was in uniform and on his way to report to work for the afternoon shift.  Lt. McCulley had just left his home in the nearby Brixworth subdivision in Farragut when he suddenly changed course and headed toward the Taylor's Landing subdivision.  It is theorized that he saw something suspicious and turned around to investigate.  As he crossed the railroad tracks, a Norfolk Southern train struck his police vehicle.  After being transported by Lifestar helicopter, Lt. McCulley later died at The University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Detective James Kennedy

On the night of March 26, 1984 Detective James Kennedy and Detective Larry Johnson were investigating a report of a stolen vehicle at a West Knox County motel.  While interviewing one individual in the room, a second individual appeared from behind the door and began to struggle with the detectives.  Detective Johnson was able to pull the first individual out of the room and to safety but Detective Kennedy was shot multiple times and died at approximately 12:15 a.m. on March 27, 1984.

Detective Kennedy
Detective Kennedy

Detective James Kennedy

On the night of March 26, 1984 Detective James Kennedy and Detective Larry Johnson were investigating a report of a stolen vehicle at a West Knox County motel.  While interviewing one individual in the room, a second individual appeared from behind the door and began to struggle with the detectives.  Detective Johnson was able to pull the first individual out of the room and to safety but Detective Kennedy was shot multiple times and died at approximately 12:15 a.m. on March 27, 1984.

Never Forgotten

If you would like to recognize any of these fine officers or others, please feel free to contact us

KCSO shoulder patch with lighted candle
Officer Sandy Romines smiling at camera

Thanks to Officer Romines!

We would like to show our appreciation to Officer Sandy Romines who spent many hours of her personal time conducting research for this Officer Memorial and KCSO History.  Officer Romines also took the initiative to take the information she gathered and create the video above.  Thank you, Officer Romines!