Never Underestimate a Warm Welcome

Nolensville has a far-reaching reputation for neighborliness and for community awareness. Part of the awareness factor is rooted in its ongoing effort to familiarize itself with its resources – including resources of the human variety.

Sergeant Cody Ethridge of the Nolansville Police Department is grateful not only for the town’s friendliness but for that community awareness.

Cody had been employed by the town’s Public Works department for two years. “There’s no law enforcement history in my family’s background,” Cody began, “but one of my responsibilities with Public Works was to do oil changes on the police cars. I shared a lot of conversations with the town’s officers, and my interest began growing.”

He’d always been strongly motivated to help people. “That, coupled with everything I learned through those conversations, spurred me to head in the direction of the police department.”

Cody’s first inclination was to apply at the sheriff’s office, but Police Chief Parker heard about it and invited him to rethink his career path.

“Chief Parker encouraged me to join the Nolensville Police Department. I agreed, and from there, I became the first one the town sent to the police academy. It was quite an honor.”

Cody graduated from the academy and joined the force. Chief Parker, always promoting community interaction and outreach, posted a picture with a warm welcome as Cody’s introduction to the citizens.

Almost immediately, the new officer received a message from someone named Merritt, welcoming him to Nolensville and adding she hoped to stay out of the way of tickets.

“I thought it was pretty neat for her to do that,” Cody chuckled. “We met, started dating, and married five years ago.”

Two years ago, the couple had a son Maddox. “Chief and his wife put together an unbelievable baby shower for us. We learned just how much we’d become family when we were told by our doctor that Maddox had Down Syndrome. The entire department, and a large portion of the town, went into support mode for us. It was really such a beautiful thing.”

The Nolensville Police Department has grown from three to 18 officers in order to stay ahead of the recommendation of one officer for every 1,000 people. “We played catch-up for a while, and we don’t want to do that again,” Cody said.

“What I see in the future for me and my family is a ceremony when I retire from the Nolensville Police Department. I’m blessed and don’t intend to leave.”

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