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Loftin Honored with Surprise Reception

Mayor Jeff Griggs presents Roger Loftin a key to the city for his many years of service. Loftin was the longest serving chief of police in the State of Tennessee.
Photo by Steve Corlew / Lexington ProgressArticle by Steve Corlew-

Not often could city officials surprise the Chief of Police Roger Loftin, but Wednesday, January 4th officials were able to catch the retiring chief off guard.

Jeff Middleton, Loftin’s replacement, had called the chief by the office to sign paperwork and then asked him to go for a ride. As soon as Middleton pulled within sight of the Lexington Utilities Operation Center, Loftin knew something was up. The center’s parking lot was overflowing and inside a crowd of fellow law enforcement officers, state and local officials, friends, and family were waiting to wish Loftin well on his retirement.

The event was put together without a word leaking out on social media. Loftin has been the longest serving active police chief in Tennessee.

“I am floored, thank you,” Loftin said when he entered the room to a standing ovation. It was the first of many such ovations he would receive during the afternoon.

Mayor Jeff Griggs brought Loftin’s family to sit at the head table as the mayor recounted their days as Little League coaches then later working together in city government.

“Why would you want a job, where every two years, you had to worry about whether or not you were going to keep it?” Mayor Griggs recalled asking Loftin. “He said he wanted to be the police chief,” Griggs told the crowd.

After he became mayor, Griggs said he saw how the city employees interacted with each other and how…

For complete coverage, see the January 11th edition of The Lexington Progress.

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