Officer Rickman injured on the job back in 2001

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Knoxville (WVLT) - Officer Norman Rickman has a stellar past as an officer with the Knoxville Police Department, but his history of being shot before has some parallels.

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb takes a look into the highs and lows of this veteran's 19 year career with KPD.

It was ten years ago when the Knoxville Police Department honored officer Norman Rickman for his service in helping to catch an escaped drug dealer from New York. For that, he was named Officer of the Month for January 1998.

In 1999, the then 10 year veteran was named Officer of the Month again for making a routine traffic stop that discovered ten pounds of marijuana. It was two years later he would discover the dangerous part of law enforcement while stopping a drunk driver in a white van on Papermill Road, a drunk driver with a gun. You can see the aftermath on Rickman's dash cam.

"Sometimes you deal with citizens you can't judge how they are going to react," Rickman said back in 2001.

Like some parallels of Tuesday, Rickman was shot in the chest but survived after having his spleen removed. Angels seem to follow Rickman as a nurse helped him after being shot now, but it was an officer who was immediately there seven years ago.

"Glad he was there. He's a hero, He helped me. He saved my life," Rickman said.

But unfortunately in both instances, Rickman wasn't wearing a bullet proof vest, something he vowed to do seven years ago.

"I know, however, my policy has changed. Cause I was told by my boss, not Chief Keith but my wife, from now on my vest will be on when I leave the house," Rickman said.

While we don't know why officer Rickman wasn't wearing his bullet proof vest, Chief Sterling Owen said not doing so is his choice.

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