Inspiration from a narcotics detective who died in a motorcycle crash invigorated fellow Rutherford County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit detectives to work harder in his memory.
Detective Jake Beu excelled in his duties at the Sheriff’s Office and challenged co-workers to perform better in their jobs before his death in May.Capt. Todd Sparks of the Criminal Investigations Division said Beu’s loss could have resulted in struggles.
“However, this unit found strength through Jake and were inspired to work harder for him,” Sparks said. “As a result, they set multiple unit records and received the 2023 Narcotics Unit of the Year Award at the annual Tennessee Narcotics Officers Association conference in Chattanooga last week. This is the first time the RCSO Narcotics unit has received this award.”
Also, Detective Carol Stafford became the first woman to receive the Middle Tennessee Officer of the Year Award for her investigative efforts.
Detective Josh Gregory, with the outstanding assistance of his K9 Wiley, received the K9 Officer of the Year Award.
Narcotics Lt. Tony Hall said with the untimely death of Beu, it would have been easy for the unit to slow their pace and take time to heal.
“But rather than take that approach, the team chose to rally around Jake and dedicate the year to his memory,” Hall said. “It was an immediate response from every member of the team -that we would take this year, work as hard as possible and honor his memory. I couldn’t be prouder of how this team responded and helped each other to heal while helping the community.”
Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said he was proud of the detectives’ efforts to honor Beu’s memory.
“Detective Beu’s impact lives on through the work of the narcotics detectives as shown in these awards,” Fitzhugh said. “Their work and dedication makes a positive impact on lowering the illegal drug sales and use in Rutherford County.”
The unit seized an estimated $3.75 million worth of narcotics, $3.4 million cash, 177 firearms and 51 vehicles. They handled 87 search warrants and made 191 felony arrest and 42 misdemeanor arrests.
In her two years as a narcotics detective, Stafford seized more than $2 million worth of illegal drugs, $1.9 million cash, 37 firearms and six vehicles.
Gregory and Wiley, who help other detectives, were responsible for seizing $3.4 million in illegal drugs, $1.7 million cash, 37 guns and nine vehicles.