(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — State Senator Becky Duncan Massey (R-Knoxville) joined Governor Bill Haslam, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner David Purkey and other state officials on Monday to present the state’s Three Stars of Tennessee Award in honor of six Tennessee heroes who dedicated their lives for the safety and security of their fellow citizens. The awards were presented posthumously to the families of Livingston Police Department Sergeant Sean L. Allred, Memphis Fire Services Lieutenant Rodney K. Eddins, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Zachary T. Larnerd, Memphis Police Department Officer Verdell Smith, Sr., Madison County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rosemary Vela and Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Ranger James Wallen, Jr.
The event, which is traditionally held on or near September 11, took place in Conservation Hall at the Executive Residence in Nashville.
Senator Massey spearheaded legislation in 2014 to recognize law enforcement, firefighters and medical first responders who were either killed or suffered a career ending injury in the line of duty. This is the third presentation of the annual awards since passage of that act.
“Every day in Tennessee brave men and women put on their uniforms and report for duty with the knowledge that they may pay the ultimate price for the job that they do,” said Senator Massey. “It is very appropriate that we honor the sacrifices made by Tennessee heroes like these who have demonstrated nobility through their selfless actions. No words seem adequate to express our gratitude and admiration for the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to selflessly serving others.”