BY A.J. DUGGER III
Sergeant Paul Arnold was awarded the Inaugural Theodore Roosevelt Association Police Award for the Franklin Police Department on Thursday.
Arnold has served the Franklin community since Jan. 14, 1991 as a leader with the Franklin Police Department. He continues to do so today despite battling cancer for the third time.
“I was diagnosed originally in 2006 just before Christmas, then again in 2011 and again in July 2016. It came back with a vengeance this time.”
Arnold is optimistic and feels that each day brings a new possibility to improve his situation.
“As it stands right now, the cancer is incurable but it’s treatable. We’re buying time with the treatments, and new developments are coming down the road everyday,” he said. “Hopefully one of these treatments will help my situation and open a new chapter.”
Arnold is not facing this battle alone. He is supported by his wife, Dawn, the doctors at Vanderbilt, and the Franklin Police Department.
“They allow me to work around the challenges that have come along. It’s good for me that I can get up and come to work and keep that routine going on,” Arnold said .
The sergeant has undergone radiation, brain surgery, and chemotherapy, but says that coming to work and continuing to make a difference keeps him going.
“You have periods where you’re just down and have to recover. But I still work, and the department has been phenomenal in working with me and allowing me to do that,” he said, adding that his colleagues give him rides to treatments, pick things up for him, and do whatever is necessary to help.
Many officers, including Lieutenant Charles Warner, look up to Arnold because of his leadership, guidance and wisdom. Arnold has seen many officers that he once mentored go from being patrol officers to sergeants to detectives and beyond.
“I helped them get started and that’s a great feeling for me,” Arnold said. “It has been rewarding for me to see new officers struggling to get their duty belts on and ask where things are, and then later see them become capable professionals and fully functional officers ready to handle anything on the street.”
Arnold spends most of his time these days tending to the guns and ammo for the FPD.
“I take care of all the firearms for the department. I order and maintain and the stock the ammo. I also assist the training division in firearm instruction.”
“I’m extremely honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Arnold, who has worked for 39 years in law enforcement.
The Chattanooga native began his career in 1980, working as a police officer in Chattanooga. He then moved on to the United States Marshal Service, the Department of Agriculture and then Franklin Police Department where he has worked for 26 years. For Franklin he worked as a patrol officer before becoming a patrol sergeant.
The Inaugural Theodore Roosevelt Association Police Award is earned by an officer who has provided great service to their community and overcome a serious injury, handicap or illness. The award is named after Theodore Roosevelt because he overcame asthma to lead a great career of public service.