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Two Roane County residents have been promoted to high-ranking positions with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Cheryl Sanders of Oliver Springs is the agency’s first-ever female field major. And Jessie Brooks of Kingston is now captain of the Chattanooga District.
“I’m honored and blessed and proud and all of that,” said Sanders, who in her new duties oversees all East Tennessee district offices, including Cookeville, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Fall Branch.
Sanders was promoted to her new rank after serving as captain of the Knoxville District since 2008.
She was captain of the Chattanooga District from 2006-08.
“It is going to be a challenge I look forward to,” Sanders said of the new job. “I’m honored to have gotten chosen for this opportunity.”
Sanders said her main office will be in Nashville. She will travel there a few times a week, but she won’t have to move, because where she lives now is ideal.
“I am centrally located between all my districts,” Sanders said.
Achieving THP firsts is nothing new for Sanders. She was the first female to be promoted to lieutenant and captain. Betty Blair, executive officer to the colonel, was the first female to be promoted to major within Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Brooks, who was promoted from administrative lieutenant at the Knoxville District, has a long career in Roane County with the agency.
“It is a really good district,” he said of his new job. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Brooks replaces David McGill, who now serves as captain of the Knoxville District.
A history buff, Brooks went to the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park many years ago.
He said the Chattanooga district is a beautiful one.
Sanders said Brooks had a goal of making sergeant when he joined the THP in 1981. He’s now exceeded that by two ranks.
“I’m pretty proud,” he said.
Brooks is from Hamblen County, where he was a sheriff’s deputy before he became a road trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Since that time, he’s been safety education lieutenant, troop sergeant and litter sergeant.
A release said he also has experience in dignatory protection, including governors and U.S. first ladies. He’s a veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserves.
Brooks has a teenage daughter, Shelby.
He said she’s very involved with school, including high school band.
When the opportunity came up for promotion, he wanted to make sure he would be able to keep his family in Kingston.
“It is going on my death certificate — I wouldn’t have taken it if I had to move,” Brooks said.