Excellence in Police Services: Collierville

Collierville
When reports of a mass shooting at a local Kroger store came across dispatch, officers with the Collierville Police Department responded quickly and efficiently to protect lives and end the crisis. While the incident itself took a matter of minutes, officers remained on hand in the days and weeks that followed to aid their grieving community.

On the afternoon of Sept. 23, 2021, officers with the Collierville Police Department heard a call over dispatch that no member of law enforcement wants to hear: an active shooter event at a local shopping center.

Members of the Collierville Police Department responded to the active shooting incident at a local Kroger store that left one patron dead and 13 customers and staff members injured. More than 50 people were believed to be inside the building at the time the shooter opened fire. 

Within four minutes of the gunman first opening fire, law enforcement was on the scene, clearing the store aisle by aisle and helping to escort patrons and employees from the locked freezers and offices where they had been hiding. 
When officers cornered the gunman, he took his own life. The Collierville Police Department continued to be on-hand in the days and weeks following the shooting not only to investigate but also to support their bereaved community.

In recognition of the actions made by the town of Collierville and the Collierville Police Department in the face of community crisis, the Tennessee Municipal League is pleased to present Collierville with an award for Excellence in Police Services. 

Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said the quick response of both law enforcement to the site as well as the training and quick thinking of Kroger employees helped to save lives that day. Support from the Collierville Fire Department to render aid to those at the scene also preserved life at the scene. 

Months before the incident at Kroger, the Collierville Police Department and Fire Department participated in a multi-agency, multi-discipline training sessions that focused on many of the tactics both departments would later use to respond to the September shooting. 

The Collierville Police Department’s response to the shooting was possible due to the department’s “whole community” approach to policing that focuses on relieving citizens from the fear of crime beyond just reducing crime. 

By employing technical crime fighting tools, staying engaged on a personal level with the community they serve, and focusing on professional development and training, the department was able react swiftly and purposefully to the mass shooting.

The department continues to use cutting edge technology like unmanned aerial systems, license plate reader technology, and data-driven crime fighting solutions while still maintaining personal and professional relationships with the community through community policing solutions like Citizen Police Academies, Explorer Academies, Neighborhood Watch Programs, and National Night Out Events.