Allen Cool named the first-ever Baxter Police Officer of the Year at Thursday’s City Council meeting.
Baxter Police Chief Danny Holmes said the department often has only one officer on duty at a time, making Cool’s service all the braver. He said Cool routinely goes above and beyond the call of duty. Cool said the recognition would not have been possible without the hard work of the rest of the department.
“Everybody works real hard around here,” Cool said. “We all share this small town. It’s kind of easy to keep an eye on, you know, and everybody does their part. Some of us do a little more interdiction than others and some of us do a little more traffic than others, but we all kind of get in together and make it work with what officers we do have.”
Holmes said one of Cool’s crowning moments of the past year involved an armed robbery that happened outside of Baxter City Limits. He said Cool pursued two armed robbers from Monterey for 37 miles before taking them down along with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department.
“If they had not taken these two dangerous men off the road, they would have robbed somebody else and someone could have lost their life,” Holmes said.
Holmes and Cool both said the support and availability of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department has been a leading factor in keeping Baxter safe. Cool said with Baxter’s growth, good police work is more important than ever.
“This goes to show, it’s not Baxter anymore,” Cool said. “You never know what’s going to happen. You know, everybody used to call this Mayberry, and times have changed. You never know what’s going to roll through here, especially with the truck stops and everything.”
In other business, the council agreed to hire Moore, Rader, and York P.C. to serve as the new city attorneys. Partner Wade Blair said he will be at most of Baxter’s meetings going forward and is eager to help in whatever areas his service is needed.
“We have a pretty wide-reaching reputation in the Upper Cumberland,” Blair said. “We have municipal representation experience with other municipalities, so in the Upper Cumberland, we’re probably the law firm that has the most experience in this type of law.”
The firm has worked with Baxter in the past through Baxter’s insurance carrier. He said he is already familiar with many of the issues and people in the community and plans to make a seamless transition.
The council also passed a resolution authorizing the Baxter Steering Committee to apply to participate in the Tennessee Downtown Revitalization Education and Grant Program.