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Jennings earns district Trooper of the Year award
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THP Captain R.C. Christian, Jennings and THP Colonel Tracy Trott are shown at the THP awards ceremony.
Trooper Dewaine Jennings of Smithville has been named Trooper of the Year for the Cookeville District for the second time in four years.Jennings was among 12 members of the THP who were honored as Troopers of the Year for their individual districts during a special ceremony held Thursday evening in Murfreesboro.Trooper Jennings was named the 2012 Trooper of the Year in the THP's Cookeville District after looking beyond the ticket on a traffic stop made on Aug. 25, 2012.Jennings stopped a vehicle for speeding and upon contact with the two occupants noticed suspicious behavior. He then ran a validation check on the 19-year-old driver and discovered he had an outstanding warrant for statutory rape.Jennings detained the driver and began questioning his female passenger.It was discovered that the female passenger was 13 years old, and was the girlfriend of the male driver.Jennings contacted the girls' mother and transported the two to the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office for further investigation.It was later revealed that the 13-year-old female had been raped by an older adult and the mother had been advised to keep her away from older men.The boyfriend admitted to a sexual relationship with the female juvenile, and her mother admitted to being aware of the relationship.Both the 19-year-old male and the juvenile's mother were arrested.Jennings’ thorough investigation in this case resulted in the discovery of a crime.Additionally, his trooper activity ranks second in the district with 23 DUI arrests and second in total citations with 837.The overall 2012 Trooper of the Year for the state is Trooper Nathan W. Hall in the Fall Branch District that includes Sullivan County.“Each award recipient has shown their dedication to public service and to the safety and security of the state of Tennessee by their extraordinary accomplishments,” Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “It's an honor to recognize them for their service tonight and to honor their sacrifice year-round.”Trooper Hall earned the honor after preventing a possible suicide attempt by a juvenile last December in Sullivan County.