The City of Alcoa Police Department (APD) recently promoted three employees. Sgt. James, H. (Doug) Sparks to lieutenant, and Detective Matt Caldwell and Patrol Officer Israel Hernandez to the rank of sergeant.
Lt. James. H. (Doug) Sparks has been a member of the APD since January of 2009. Prior to police service at the City of Alcoa, Lt. Sparks was a police officer with the Kissimmee (FL) Police Department from 1993 through August 2001. From September 2001 through November of 2001, he worked for the United Nations in Kosovo in the Dignitary Protection Unit, then returned to the Kissimmee Police Department until 2005. In May 1993, Lt. Sparks graduated from the Technical Education Center Osceola (TECO) Criminal Justice Program. He received certificates as an Instructor in 1998 and Firearms Instructor in 2001. Prior to that he was on active duty with the United States Marine Corps (Infantry) and was released with an Honorable
Discharge in September 1990. Since his service with the Alcoa Police Department, Lt. Sparks has been assigned to patrol with his duties in in traffic and patrol and has been a P.O.S.T. instructor since 2012.He instructs the City police personnel in firearms, patrol rifle, ALICE training, Active Shooter and is a Ballistic Shield instructor. He received his Active Shooter Instructor Certificate from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center through the Department of Homeland Security. He is also a weapons armorer for AR-15 and Glock Advanced Armorer. Lt. Sparks has been married to his wife, Tracey, for 25 years and they have two children, Cody and Morgan, who are both still in school.
Sgt. Matt Caldwell graduated from Heritage High School in 1997 where he received a Tennessee Honors Diploma. Additionally, he holds an Associate of Science Degree from Pellissippi State Technical Community College. Sgt. Caldwell is a POST certified law enforcement officer since his graduation from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy in 2001. He worked with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office as a School Resource Officer and a Reserve Deputy Advisor (2001) before coming to the APD in December 2006, where he has worked as a Patrol Officer, K-9 Officer and Detective. He has served in law enforcement for 17 years.
Sgt. Israel Hernandez is a 14-year veteran of the APD. He has served as a Field Training Officer for the last nine years and has built strong bonds with many of the officers. During his tenure, he has worked as an acting Sergeant, Field Training Officer and Defensive Tactics Instructor. The most valuable experience that he has had is being supervised and mentored by many of the members of the command staff of department. Sgt. Hernandez was Officer of the Year in 2015 and received the Meritorious Service Medal in 2008. He is also the first Hispanic sergeant in the department.
City of Alcoa Police Chief David Carswell said, “All three of these officers have been outstanding employees who work tirelessly serving the citizens of Alcoa. I am very excited to see them moving into these important leadership positions within our organization as each one will be an excellent role model for the employees they will be supervising.”