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Tennessee Highway Patrol Sergeant Receives “40 under 40” Award

Sergeant Maureen Velez recognized for her strong work in law enforcement
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 | 02:35pm
Sergeant Maureen Velez

NASHVILLE – Today, Commissioner David W. Purkey of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDOSHS) along with Colonel Tracy Trott of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) are proud to announce the “40 Under 40” award recipient, Sergeant Maureen Velez. Velez was recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in Philadelphia, PA.

This award recognizes 40 national law enforcement professionals under the age of 40 who demonstrate leadership and professionalism in their field.

“Each of these individuals was chosen for their commitment to their agencies, communities, and for strengthening the law enforcement profession,” Deputy Executive Director of the IACP Terrence Cunningham said. “It is truly an honor to recognize these men and women for their service and the many accomplishments they have achieved so early in their professional careers.”

“I am very proud of Sergeant Maureen Velez,” said Colonel Tracy Trott. “Sergeant Velez demonstrates high standards in the THP that have exemplified her credibility that earned her this distinguished award. Her continuous display of leadership, values, and commitment to law enforcement is unprecedented. The future of the THP is very promising and bright with young leaders like Sergeant Velez rising within our ranks.”

Sergeant Velez began her career in law enforcement in 2006, as a deputy with the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office before joining the THP in 2008. Upon graduation from cadet school, she was assigned to Tipton County.

In 2010, Velez joined the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) operating in the Memphis and Jackson Districts. She is certified to teach on-scene and advanced crash investigations, and is the department’s primary instructor for crash reconstruction. She built a 40-hour curriculum for basic photography which she teaches annually to members of the THP and outside law enforcement agencies.

“This recognition does not surprise me,” Commissioner David W. Purkey said. “Sergeant Velez was recently promoted and her reputation continues to exceed expectations as she leaves her mark in every division where she serves.”

Sergeant Velez’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in Photography from Florida State University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University. She is a graduate of the Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command and the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center National Forensics Academy. She has since returned to the academy as an instructor of photography. She is the first THP trooper to become a certified crime scene investigator through the International Association for Identification (IAI).

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.