Four veteran supervisors were promoted to command positions at the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office by Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh.
Deputy Chief Keith Lowery was promoted to Chief Deputy, the second-in-command at the sheriff's office. Patrol Maj. Egon Grissom was named Deputy Chief, the third-in-command. Patrol Capt. Steve Spence was promoted to major over the Patrol Division and Patrol Lt. Rhett Rankin was named patrol captain. The promotions will be effective Monday.
Sheriff Fitzhugh says this is a step to put a command management team in place to help further the positive goals they want to achieve at the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office. He adds he has full confidence in all four.
You'll recall Lowery served as interim sheriff before Fitzhugh was appointed by the Rutherford County Commission to fill the seat of former Sheriff Robert Arnold. He was one of four finalists for position as well.
The sheriff recently promoted or appointed Administrative Chief Deputy Preble Acton and jail administrators Maj. Bernard Salandy and Capt. Chris Fly.
"I am incredibly flattered and feel very privileged to be offered this extraordinary opportunity to serve the leadership team and partnership that will rebuild the integrity, respect, and honor this agency deserves," Lowery said. "I look forward to serving Sheriff Fitzhugh, along with the entire leadership team, and the great men and women at the sheriff's office as we reestablish the public trust, the reputation and the pride within the agency."
Lowery worked in the technology field before starting his law enforcement career as a detention deputy and patrol deputy in 1987 at the sheriff's office. He worked 23 years at Smyrna Police Department, rising to the rank of captain. He served as assistant chief of police at La Vergne Police Department before returning to the sheriff's office as deputy chief. He previously supervised the Information Services Division at the Sheriff's Office.
He completed the FBI's Law Enforcement Executive Development Agency's Trilogy Award for completing classes in the Supervisor Leadership Institute, Command Leadership Institute and Executive Leadership Institute. He graduated from the Northwestern University Police Staff and Command class. He was named Technician of the Year in 2011 from the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials.
Grissom said he is grateful to be deputy chief.
"I am honored and grateful to Sheriff Fitzhugh for the opportunity to be part of the leadership team at the sheriff's office and to be able to move forward to improve our relationships within the sheriff's office and community," Grissom said. "I am honored and humbled to lead the men and women at the sheriff's office."
Grissom retired from the U.S. Air Force as a tech sergeant. While in the service, he trained as a military investigator. He joined the sheriff's office as a patrol deputy in 1995, serving as a patrol and narcotics sergeant, lieutenant in narcotics and captain and major of the Patrol Division.
He graduated from the Southern Police Institute's Administrative Officers Course, the Chief Executive Leadership Course and the Management of a Small Police Agency. He completed the U.S. Marshal's State and Local Court Security Course and the Drug Unit Command from the Institute of Police Technology and Management.
Spence said has spent 29-1/2 years being a public servant at the sheriff's office.
"I've been a public servant since Day 1 at the sheriff's office," Spence said. "I believe in taking care of the citizens and the men and women under you."
He joined the sheriff's office at a detention deputy in 1987. He was promoted to the patrol division two years later and worked as a sergeant and lieutenant on the midnight shift for many years until helping in the training division where he became captain. He transferred as captain to the patrol division in 2014. He has completed numerous educational classes.
Rankin is grateful for the promotion.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to work with Sheriff Fitzhugh and to re-establish integrity with the sheriff's office," Rankin said. "I feel like at this point in my career I will have the opportunity to mentor younger officers."
Rankin started his law enforcement career at the Murfreesboro Police Department as a patrol officer and field training officer. He worked to the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission as a special agent for seven years where he supervised the state's marijuana eradication program.
He joined the sheriff's office as a patrol officer and rose up to ranks to captain. He earned an associate's degree in criminal justice from MTSU.