Chandler officers make history with tourney win SanTan Sun News

Chandler officers make history with tourney win

June 13th, 2019 development
Chandler officers make history with tourney win
Community
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BY KAYLA RUTLEDGE, Staff Writer

The Chandler Police Department pulled the trigger and made history for the department this year when officers took home first place at the Silent Witness sporting clays tournament at the Ben Avery Shooting Range.

The department’s team was pulled together at the last minute after sponsorship from Silent Witness board member Terry Donnelly and support from Chandler’s Vice Mayor Terry Roe.

Officers Cody Meade and Nate Townsend, Det. Paul Kee and his son Andre Kee shot consistently throughout the day, but Detective Kee said the win was a total surprise.

“It was just so comical because we’re just a rag tag group of hunters. We didn’t have any fancy equipment,” said Kee.

“There were teams that seemed much more organized than us. They knew what they were doing and we still came out on top,” he added.

Kee said he was “dumb founded and completely surprised” after hearing the matching scores of two competing teams that did rock, paper, scissors for second place had a lower score than the Chandler team by a handful of points.

“We had no intention of winning. We just went up there to have fun and get to know each other a little better and support a good cause,” Kee said.

Silent Witness, a non-profit, serves as a medium for the Valley’s police agencies to share information about unsolved cases to community members. Citizens can safely submit tips to Silent Witness and obtain monetary rewards, up to $1,000, for valuable information.

Roe said he was proud of the department’s first place win, as well as the partnership the city has with Silent Witness. He said the mutual goal they share to catch lawbreakers plays a key role in keeping the streets of Chandler safe.

“Silent Witness by itself is not very effective. But when it has people in the community that call in, or send a picture, or a video of a crime being committed and identify somebody that’s how crime can help get solved,” Roe said.

“And on top of all that if our departments don’t get involved, we’re at a disadvantage, but Chandler is very active with our Silent Witness program and our officers, our detectives, are also sending tips over to them to figure out who done it,” Roe added.

Kee said during his time as a sex crimes detective, Silent Witness helped connect the department to a citizen with a tip on a serial rapist. The tip lead to the eventual arrest of the suspect.

“In a case like that we need to catch the suspect as fast as possible, and by utilizing Silent Witness we were able to do that,” said Kee.

In addition to donating to a good cause, the competition also served as a time for the team to bond, which, Kee said, is vital in his line of work.

“There was a mutual comradery we had that day. Doing this job can be rough, but being surrounded by these guys and getting to know them at the competition, well now at work it’s not just an obligatory ‘hello’ in the halls. We have this shared experience,” said Kee.

The team plans on competing at next year’s competition, where they hope to defend their title as champions.

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