TRA 2014 Police Awards RecipientHermitage Precinct Officer Bridget Griepentrog’s determination to continue serving the Nashville community despite severe pain and several debilitating surgeries was honored this afternoon with the 2014 Theodore Roosevelt Police Award for Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
The Theodore Roosevelt Association Police Award is given to a police officer who has rendered outstanding and praiseworthy service to the department and the community despite a serious handicap, illness, or injury.
Bridget Griepentrog, now 42, entered the Nashville police academy in May 2001 to pursue a career in law enforcement. She graduated later that year. Patrol work was her calling and, over the past 13 years, Officer Griepentrog spent time protecting families in the East, North and Hermitage Precincts. Her medical trouble began in the late fall of 2012 with a diagnosis of degenerative arthritis. An orthopedist performed hip scopes in an attempt to save joints and cartilage. Nevertheless, in June 2013, she had to have a left hip replacement.
Physicians determined that the arthritis was being caused by a tumor on Officer Griepentrog’s pituitary gland. Because of the risk to nearby optic nerves, sinuses and the carotid artery, surgeons could remove only part of the tumor. The inoperable part played havoc with the pituitary gland’s regulation of growth hormone, leading to the rare disease of acromegaly, which causes bones in the hands, feet and face to increase in size. Officer Griepentrog’s illness has resulted in five surgeries. A sixth is scheduled for next month to remove the remainder of the tumor. Through it all, Officer Griepentrog has reported for work whenever possible. While on light duty for a time, she even compiled and edited an information binder for fellow officers.
Officer Griepentrog is presently assigned to full duty on the Hermitage Precinct’s midnight shift, where, in addition to answering calls for service, she assists in orienting officers new to the detail as well as training recent academy graduates. In the words of Hermitage Precinct Sergeant Robert Johnson, “She is an officer who has a genuine concern for the well-being of officers as well as the citizens of Nashville.”
“Officer Griepentrog is absolutely refusing to let illness rob her of the career she loves,” Chief Steve Anderson said. “Her will to succeed, coupled with a commitment to make the community a better place, is nothing short of inspiring.”
The Theodore Roosevelt Association established the police awards program in honor of Roosevelt’s distinguished service as President of the Board of Police Commissioners of New York City from 1895 to 1897, and in recognition of his lifelong admiration for the police.
Nashville is one of several cities in the United States to present the Roosevelt Award. Others include New York City, Boston, Long Island, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.
“The Metro Police Department is grateful to the Theodore Roosevelt Association’s annual commitment to recognize truly outstanding public servants, like Bridget Griepentrog, and their important contributions to Nashville’s safety and quality of life,” Chief Anderson said.
Through the generosity of this year’s award sponsor, Rock Solid Roofing Company, a Division of McEwen Home Improvements (RockSolidRoofingTN.com), and the Theodore Roosevelt Association, Officer Griepentrog received a $1,000 award, a medal, and a bust of Theodore Roosevelt. A bronze plaque, which bears a likeness of Roosevelt, and which is currently on display in the lobby of police headquarters, will now include the inscription of Griepentrog’s name.
Past Metro Police recipients of the Theodore Roosevelt Award were Sgt. Phillip Sage (1998), Detective Clifford Mann (1999), Detective Frank Pierce (2000), Sergeant James (Jimbo) Allen (2001), Officer William Richardson (2002), Detective Joe Cooper (2003), Officer Horace Temple (2004), Officer Foster Hite (2005), Detective Jeff Ball (2006), Officer Dan Alford (2007), Sergeant Brenda Steinbrecher (2008), Officer James Duke (2009), Officer Faye Okert (2010), Lieutenant Joe McEwen (2011), Officer Cindy Huffines (2012), and Officer Dennis Hamm (2013).
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