SEVIERVILLE — Several Sevierville Police Department officers have been recognized by the Tennessee Highway Safety Office for their contributions to traffic safety in 2020.

“We are extremely fortunate to have officers such as these on our team,” said SPD Chief Joseph Manning.

“Their accomplishments, along with the direction of our THSO Coordinator, Lt. Matt Nicol, truly make our roadways safer and our community a better place to live and visit.”

Officer Jordan Paul was awarded the Beyond the Stop Award for demonstrating outstanding decision making during a dangerous traffic stop. On Jan. 19, 2020 Officer Paul, observed a black vehicle traveling on Winfield Dunn Pkwy/S.R. 66 that had very dark window tint. As the vehicle passed, the driver appeared to have slid down in his seat. Officer Paul conducted a traffic stop and as he approached, he could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.

During his investigation, Officer Paul recovered several bags of marijuana, oxycodone pills, an AR-15 rifle and two high capacity loaded AR-15 magazines.

Officer Paul also found several large areas within the vehicle that had been converted to hide contraband. The suspect was a convicted felon and charged with the manufacture, sale and delivery of schedule VI drugs, unlawful carry of a firearm during the commission of a felony, a felon in possession of a firearm, simple possession of a schedule 2 drug and window tint violation.

Officer Travis Byram received a Beyond the Stop Honorable Mention.

On Feb. 15, 2020, Officer Byram observed a red pickup truck stopped at a traffic light on Dolly Parton Pkwy/U.S. 411. The passenger was leaning forward nodding off asleep and the driver was leaned back in his seat and looked dazed. Upon getting behind the vehicle, Officer Byram noticed that the vehicle was unable to maintain its lane and performed a traffic stop.

During his investigation, Officer Byram discovered multiple syringes, 140 grams of methamphetamine, oxycodone pills and over $6,000 in cash. Both persons were taken into custody.

Officer Morgan Watts received a Speed Award Honorable Mention.

Officer Watts is a traffic enforcement officer who has an outstanding work ethic. He cares deeply about traffic safety and the safety of our community and goes the extra mile in his traffic enforcement duties. While he conducts many traffic stops, he is known to be very courteous with drivers. During traffic stops, Officer Watts often takes the opportunity to educate drivers on various traffic safety laws.

In 2020, Officer Watts conducted approximately 800 traffic stops, issued over 400 citations, and made almost 300 arrests.

Officer Nathan Ensing received a DUI Enforcement Honorable Mention.

Officer Ensing is the top DUI enforcement officer for the department and had over 36 DUI related arrests in 2020. These arrests resulted in convictions in all but one case. Officer Ensing is always on the lookout for impaired drivers as he strives to make the City of Sevierville a safer place for everyone.

He has been a leading officer in DUI arrests throughout his career and is a certified Drug Recognition Expert. Officer Ensing’s DRE skills and DUI case law knowledge are tremendous assets for the department and his fellow officers.