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July 8, 2020
For immediate release

Police chief announces multiple promotions

Johnson City Police Chief Karl Turner on Tuesday announced seven recent promotions within the department. The promotional process consists of a written test, job-specific written exercises, and an assessment/interview. In addition, candidates’ work histories are evaluated and points are awarded for education level.

“These men and women represent the level of service and professionalism we strive for at the Johnson City Police Department,” said Chief Turner. “They are proven leaders who are dedicated to our community, and I am proud to serve alongside each of them.”

Debbie Botelho, who joined the department in 1987, has been promoted to deputy chief of police. During her time with the department she has served as a patrol officer, criminal investigator and watch commander. Botelho has also authored grants for the department and served as the administrator for several United Way fundraising programs. Most recently she served as the administrative major for JCPD.

Botelho graduated from the Northwestern University Traffic-Institute School of Police Staff and Command and holds degrees from Walters State Community College in public safety and criminal justice. She completed her bachelor’s degree at East Tennessee State University and also graduated from the FBI National Academy. 

Brian Rice, who has served as interim operations major since September 2019, has been promoted to administrative major. Rice has been employed by the Police Department since 1995, and also has five years of prior law enforcement experience. During his tenure with JCPD, Rice has served in a number of capacities: public safety officer, field training officer, investigator, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team member, assistant platoon watch commander, watch commander, and as the officer-in-charge of the Department’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (Bomb Squad). He graduated from the Hazardous Devices School at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala., in 2001. Most recently, he oversaw the Internal Affairs Division as captain.

He is a graduate of both the Southeast Command and Leadership Academy (UT-Chattanooga) and the 241st Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy (University of Virginia). Rice will receive his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Bethel University in August. 

Rice was honored as the Police Department Outstanding Team Member for the City of Johnson City in March 2005. He previously served on the Governor’s Homeland Security Support Element and as a member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. 

Matt Howell has been promoted to operations major. A graduate of East Tennessee State University, Howell began his law enforcement career with the Greensboro, N.C., Police Department in 1989 before joining the JCPD in 1991. 

During his time with the department, Howell has served as a public safety officer, field training officer and criminal investigator. Most recently, he oversaw the Criminal Investigations Division as captain. In addition, Howell has served as a polygraph examiner since 1998 following his graduation from the Argenbright International Institute of Polygraph. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Kevin Peters, who has worked in the Criminal Investigations Division since 2007, has been promoted to Captain and will serve as the Criminal Investigations Division Commander. A Johnson City native, Peters started with the JCPD in 1991. In addition to the Criminal Investigations Division, he has also worked in the Operations Division as well as the Community Policing Unit. Peters holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from ETSU and is also a graduate of the Northwestern University's School of Police Staffing and Command. 

Eric Dougherty has been promoted to captain of Platoon 2. Dougherty attended ETSU and completed his field experience with the JCPD in 1993. Hired by the department that same year, Dougherty has served as a field training officer with the SWAT team and the K9 unit. Additionally he has served as the SWAT team commander as well as the sergeant for the K9 unit and the special investigative squad in the Criminal Investigations Division. Prior to the promotion, Dougherty was the lieutenant for Platoon 1. 

Mike Adams has been promoted to lieutenant for Platoon 1. Adams spent four years in the United States Marine Corps. He graduated from Walters State Police Academy and began his career with the Johnson City Police Department in 2001. Adams spent nine years as a patrol officer before being assigned as an agent of the First Judicial District Drug Task Force, later becoming its director. In 2015, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and patrol supervisor prior to his reassignment as sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division. Prior to his promotion to lieutenant, he served as the supervisor of the special investigation squad within CID, a position he held since 2019. Additionally, Adams served on the SWAT team for 11 years.

Keith Sexton has been promoted to lieutenant for Platoon 2. Sexton began his career in law enforcement with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in 1991. During his time with WCSO he served as patrol officer, K9 officer, SWAT team commander, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force officer, sergeant and lieutenant. He joined JCPD in 2008 and has held a number of roles within the department. He has served as a patrol officer, investigator, DEA Task Force officer, training unit supervisor, SWAT Team commander, certified Hazardous Devices Technician and Bomb Squad Commander. Sexton holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Bethel University.