When you think about police—is it a positive or a negative thought?
There are plenty of people on both sides of that issue, but now we’re going to give you a glimpse behind the uniform, with one of the oldest men ever to graduate from the police academy.
Here’s News 12’s Bill Mitchell with tonight’s First responder of the Month.
This the Chattanooga Police department cadet class of 1999..and on the left on the first row is 42 year old Ric Engle.
He was a 42 year old retired US army major who was later called back for a tour in Iraq.
Ric is still on patrol..but with the police department…and he holds several awards. He also has a lifetime full of stories which he’s generally reluctant to talk about.
But we coaxed a few out of him him.
OFFICER RIC ENGLE, CPD “One of the things that brought me into police work is, is I really enjoy the service.”
Many Chattanoogans do remember Ric Engle from a stand-off he had with a woman who was firing a weapon as she drove through Hixson.
Ric confronted her.
OFFICER RIC ENGLE “We drew our guns at about the same time..we were about 2-3 feet apart. And, uh, she pointed her gun at me and I pointed..pointed my gun at her. And I told her to put the gun down. The reason I didn’t fire at first is I saw that she didn’t have her finger on the trigger. It was outside the trigger guard. ”
Officer Engle’s colleagues praised his quick thinking that saved a life, or it could have cost him his.
But Ric says there are a lot of things most officers do that you will likely never hear about.
He frequently reaches into his pocket to help those he meets.
RIC ENGLE “I’m not the only officer that does that…I mean, uh, you can get with any other officer on the department and ask them and they can tell you about the time they bought shoes for a homeless person or a bought a meal for a family that was stranded or, you know any number of things and it’s the little things that people never see. That, I’m telling you, I work with a great bunch of guys.”
CHIP CHAPMAN, RIC’S LONG TIME FRIEND ” Well, I can tell you that what Ric does -he doesn’t do for the money…he does it because he has a passion for the job.”
BILL MITCHELL “Its a token of our appreciation for all the good work that you did…thanks you…our First Responder of the Month, thank you.”
JAMES WETTERMARK “At Wettermark Keith, we are so proud of this month’s First Responders winner. But we’re also proud of the hundreds of other first responders who are out there working every day and every night to protect us an our families.”
In Chattanooga, Bill Mitchell, news 12 now.
If you’d like to nominate a first responder, you can call us, Or send an email to news at WDEF dot com.