Promotions

From left are Captain Ben Wardlow, Lieutenant Chris Roberts, Chief David Tillner, Lieutenant Tyler Williams and Lieutenant Sam Draper.

The Collierville Police Department held a promotion ceremony for four officers last week stepping into the ranks of captain and lieutenants.

“This is an exciting day. I cannot remember the last time we had four promotions at once,” said Mayor Stan Joyner to the crowd of law enforcement, family and town officials and staff gathered at the Collierville Courthouse. “We are thankful for the commitment, perseverance, and hard work of these officers. We have complete faith in each of them.”

The Collierville Police Department held a ceremony Monday, July 22, to honor the promotions of one captain and three lieutenants: Captain Ben Wardlow, Lieutenant Chris Roberts, Lieutenant Tyler Williams, and Lieutenant Sam Draper.

Chief David Tillner presented the officers with their badges and pins, and read impressive backgrounds about the policework the honorees had contributed to the Collierville Police Department throughout their individual tenures.

Captain Ben Wardlow joined the Collierville Police Department in 1997 after serving as a federally commissioned Park Ranger in Mesa Verde National Park and earning a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Memphis. He started his CPD career as a Uniform Patrol Officer, where he served as a police instructor, a Crisis Intervention officer, a crime scene technician, and as a member of the Bike Patrol Unit. 

In 1999, he was reassigned to the Criminal Investigations Division and served the next six years as a Detective. In 2009, Ben was promoted to the rank of Police Lieutenant and was again assigned to Criminal Investigations Division. Ben was unanimously selected by the Command Staff for promotion to the rank of Police Captain, which officially took effect on July 1, 2019, and he now commands the Criminal Investigations Division. Ben is a graduate of Leadership Collierville, the 260th session of the FBINA in Quantico, Va., and the 240th session of TLEEDS (Tennessee Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar).

Lieutenant Chris Roberts enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1988 and served on active duty until 1992, when he transferred to the TN Air National Guard until 1994 as Staff Sergeant. Chris is also a graduate of the University of Memphis, with a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. Chris began his law enforcement career with the Germantown Police Department in April of 1994, where he served for four years. In 1998, Chris was hired by the Collierville Police Department and he will soon celebrate his 21st anniversary as a member of CPD. During his tenure, Chris worked as a patrol officer, an SRO (School Resource Officer), as a court officer, as a member of the SWAT team, and he was promoted to Detective in 2016.

Lieutenant Tyler Williams to please come forward. Tyler is a native of Florence, Ala. and a graduate of the University of North Alabama in Florence where he earned a bachelors degree in Geography. He became interested in a career in law enforcement following an internship and several ride alongs with the Florence Police Department. 

In 2013, he was hired by the Collierville Police Department and is a graduate of the Memphis Police Department 31st Regional Basic Police Training Academy. Tyler is a Crime Scene Technician, DUI technician, and has completed the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement training. He is also a member of the department’s STAR team since 2013 and has completed Basic and Advanced Visual Forensic Tracking training through the TLETA (Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy) and the Mountain Trackers Association.

Lieutenant Sam Draper is a native Memphian and 2011 graduate of the University of Memphis, with a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology and a minor in Sociology. His law enforcement career began in 2011 where he served as a Reserve Officer with the Oakland Police Department. While serving as a Reserve, he attended and graduated from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Training Academy class No. 129 in 2013, and he received his TN POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) Commission.

In 2013, Sam joined the CPD as a Patrol Officer, and has served as a Field Training Officer, DUI Technician, Crime Scene Technician and as a Defensive Tactics Instructor. He also served as a member of the SWAT Team beginning in 2015 through early 2019.