David Crane, a wildlife officer assigned to Giles County, figured something was unusual while working a case in December 2019.
One evening Crane apprehended two individuals, who were charged with illegally spotlighting deer.
“We confiscate weapons all the time when making arrests,” he said. “But finding several guns inside a vehicle is highly unusual.”
Upon further investigation, Crane learned these firearms had been stolen from the home of a man killed in an automobile accident a few days prior to the arrest, according to Jeff Skelton, a captain in Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency District 22.
“Crane was instrumental in working with the Giles County Sheriff’s Department to arrest these two individuals for the break-in and theft of firearms,” Skelton wrote in a letter of recommendation for Crane to attorney Robert Massey, chairman of the Exchange Club’s Law Enforcement Committee.
“David is relentless when it comes to accomplishing his goals when it comes to his work,” Massey said.
“Just as importantly, David is fair, reasonable and always willing to listen. These are qualities all officers should strive for.
“He also has good old common sense which is often hard to come by.”
Exchange Club members voted to recognize Crane as the club’s 2020 law enforcement officer of the year. Due to the pandemic, the club did not meet for a few months, delaying the award presentation until early 2021.
The club is scheduled to meet Tuesdays at 11:45 a.m., except the first week of the month, at the Hickory House Restaurant.
Crane also has a K-9 dog, Chester, and stays busy helping in searches for missing or wanted persons and weapons recovery, Skelton said.
“On many occasions this past year, he has assisted local police and sheriff’s departments with searches for missing or wanted persons and weapons recovery,” Skelton wrote.
Crane and Chester have assisted law enforcement agencies across the state ranging from Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department to numerous county sheriff’s departments.
“Crane always responds, even though the call outs often come in the middle of the middle of the night or during harsh weather conditions,” Skelton wrote.
Educating others about firearm safety and instructing youth and others about hunting and fishing are other goals of Crane, who has conducted more than 40 public outreach and educational events reaching an estimated 4.500 people in numerous school program and youth hunting events.
“In my opinion, there is not a more dedicated officer than Wildlife Officer David Crane,” Skelton said
A 30-year veteran of the TWRA, Crane transferred to Giles County after working five years in Bedford County. He also is a member of the TWRA Dive Team. He is a Lawrence County High School graduate.
A member of the Pulaski Lions Club, Crane attends Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church, He is married to Jennifer and has two daughters.
“I couldn’t ask for a better partner,” Crane said of David Robertson, a TWRA officer also assigned to Giles County.
Skeleton, Crane said, also has been with TWRA as long as he has, and the two have a good working relationship.
“I’m was just doing my job. Each of us does our jobs, and that’s what it takes,” Crane said.