The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of Officer Daniel Paidousis of the Knoxville (Tenn.) Police Department as its Officer of the Month for September 2010.
After 20 years of law enforcement service, Officer Daniel Paidousis continues to arrive for roll call with a smile on his face, happy to serve the people of Knoxville. He is known throughout the department to utilize his law enforcement training and people skills to get the job done, in addition to being the go-to guy for anyone on the squad that needs advice or assistance.
Officer Paidousis has served in several divisions within the department. His commitment to the community is further highlighted by volunteering as a Neighborhood Liaison Officer; in which he acts as a conduit of information between the department and the community.
In June 2008, Knoxville Police Officers responded to the scene of a robbery at a residential home. A 77-year-old man had invited a woman into his home and shortly after, she robbed him. In the struggle to get the elderly man's wallet, the woman assaulted the gentleman, threw him to the floor causing several severe injuries.
Although not officially assigned to the case, Officer Paidousis began looking for the suspect. Utilizing the many street contacts he had developed over the years, he soon found a woman matching the description of the suspect; however, after interviewing her, Officer Paidousis determined that she was not the assailant.
Prior to an arrest in the case, the elderly victim died as a result of his injuries and the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. Days later, a woman who matched the description of the suspect used the victim's credit card, which led to her being positively identified. Officer Paidousis tracked her down, took her into custody, and charged her with Felony Murder and Especially Aggravated Robbery. Subsequently, the lead investigator commended Officer Paidousis' tireless efforts in the resolution of this heinous crime.
Knoxville Police Department's Chief of Police Sterling P. Owen, IV stated, "Because of Officer Paidousis' effort in locating the first two potential suspects, Investigator Steve Still was able to use the information from the interviews to identify the robbery suspect. Officer Paidousis then located and detained the suspect who was eventually indicted on the murder charge. This great effort by Officer Paidousis was performed while he continued to conduct his normal patrol duties on his beat in addition to his neighborhood liaison duties."
Officer Paidousis also serves the community in his off hours as well, serving on the Union County (Tenn.) Humane Society's Board of Directors. He routinely helps and transports abandoned, injured, and stray animals. Officer Paidousis supports the volunteer non-profit group by assisting in various fundraisers and activities and by purchasing much needed items for the group and the four legged friends they care for.
In his nomination of Officer Paidousis, Chief Owen said, "He has served our community with determination, professionalism, and compassion." Officer Paidousis continues to serve with the Knoxville Police Department. He is also a member of the Southern States Police Benevolent Association.
Located in the nation's capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America's law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund's Officer of the Month Program began in September 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
Officer Paidousis, along with the other Officers of the Month for 2010, will be honored at a special awards luncheon in Washington, D.C., in May 2011 during National Police Week. In addition, their stories of heroism and service will be featured in the Memorial Fund's 2012 calendar.