Capt. Jerry Bradley was promoted to major and to the second-highest position in the department, serving under Chief of Police Jason Shaw. Cpl. Sarah Ellison was promoted to sergeant. Both officers took their oaths from City Clerk Deborah Kessler as the council and the audience watched the ceremony at the beginning of the meeting.
Shaw said Bradley has worked for the police department for 21 years and has been a supervisor for the past nine years. Bradley has served as a patrol officer, investigator, patrol sergeant, criminal investigations sergeant and for the past four years has been a patrol captain.
In addition to his main assignments, Bradley has also served on special organizations within the police department. He has been the commander of the special response team for the past nine years. Bradley said his new assignment will cause him to step down from leading that organization.
Bradley has received several awards from the city, including the Meritorious Service Award, the Silver Star and the Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor was awarded for Bradley’s role in a shootout with a man wanted by the U.S. Marshal’s Service. Bradley suffered a gunshot wound to the head in that shootout. The wanted man was killed. Bradley was also named the 2016 Officer of the Year for the Eastern Division by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.
In addition to his police service, Bradley also served four years in the Marine Corps.
Shaw said Bradley’s promotion createed a vacancy among the leadership positions. While a promotion process has begun for the vacant captain’s position, Shaw said he has used the current list of officers eligible for promotion to sergeant in order to promote Ellison.
Ellison has 25 years of law enforcement service and has served the past nine years with Elizabethton. She has served as a patrol officer and as a corporal. Prior to her service with the city, she was with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department for nine years and with the Johnson City Police Department for six years.
Ellison has also worked as a K9 officer with both the police department and the sheriff’s department. Shaw told the councilmen that Ellison “is considered the authority on K9 training and operations in the area,” Ellison has ended her work with police dogs while she concentrates on being a leader and supervisor in the department.
Ellison also served four years in the Air Force.