KPD Det. David Ogle: Serving the public, solving cases

Tom KingOur Town Heroes

Seven words. David Wayne Ogle is succinct. Why does he do what he does?

“Serving the public, man. That’s my life.”

And it’s not an exaggeration to conclude that he has and still is serving the public in an extraordinary manner as a veteran of nearly 25 years with the Knoxville Police Department (KPD), the past 18 as a criminal investigations detective.

David Ogle

He’s a proud product of South Knoxville, 1982 graduate of Doyle High School. Next came 15 years in the U.S, Navy with multiple deployments.

A conversation with a longtime friend and fellow Doyle grad, Keith Lyon, helped steer him to his career. Lyon, who rose to chief deputy at the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, died in a head-on crash on Schaad Road in May 2006. He was the younger brother of current KCSO Chief Deputy Bernie Lyon. Ogle joined KCSO in 1995 and worked in Corrections for two years and was a K-9 officer.

After resigning from KCSO, Ogle joined KPD in 2002 and in 2006 was asked to leave patrol for criminal investigations. He found his law enforcement home there. In September 2025, he will celebrate 25 years at KPD. “I feel young. I don’t feel like I’m almost 60,” he says. Others say he does not look 60 with his stylish “fade” haircut. “When I was a kid, it was called a flattop.”

As the years have passed, his skills, instincts, ideas and never-give-up attitude have resulted in multiple honors. These stand out:

  • In 2019 he was selected as Tennessee’s Police Officer of the Year by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. He was a major part of an investigation involving shoplifting gift cards at Walmart and other locations and selling them to Knoxville’s pawn shops and second-hand stores, which would resell them for money and merchandise. The arrests ended a $1.7 million criminal enterprise.
  • On Oct. 17, 2014, Ogle received top honors during the third session of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) State Academy. He was the first KPD officer to attend the newly created academy. The six-week long academy covers multiple areas of instruction including forensic anthropology, leadership, firearms training, undercover drug operations and crime scene investigation photography. Ogle was selected as class president and finished the session with a 103 average.
  • In August 2015 he was named Officer of the Month for his investigative work into a series of property theft incidents in Knoxville, Knox County, Union County and Sevier County. The male and female suspects were stealing lawn mowers, ATVs, utility trailers, bicycles and various lawn care equipment. Ogle was able to identify the suspects and immediately shared that information with other law enforcement agencies who made the arrests.

Ogle also worked 12 years (2005-2017) as a crisis negotiator and says the classes taught him how to be a good listener, among other skills. He spent four hours sitting on a bench at Lakeshore Park convincing a man not to shoot himself. He has talked several people from jumping off bridges and calmed down and stopped a number of domestic arguments.

He has also been in classes with Stan Walters, known nationally as “The Lie Guy.”
“That’s where I learned how to read someone’s facial expressions during interviews and interrogations that tells me when they are lying,” he said.

This man has many loves. Wife Tiffany works at Home Federal downtown and is its commercial credit & loan coordinator. Between them they have five adult children and five grandchildren. His son Nathaniel is an attorney; his son Benjamin is the senior finance officer for Dollywood; and daughter Bethany works at ETSU. Tiffany’s son, Aaron Robinette, is a chef at the Monday Night Brewing Co. in the new Kern’s Food Hall. Her daughter, Adrianne, works in human resources in Maryland.

His other loves include hunting deer and turkey, crappie fishing at Tellico and Fort Loudon lakes, cars and guns.

Ogle says many of his most satisfying cases are those involving seniors living at home receiving home health, in assisted living or nursing homes or even as hospital patients. “People steal from them and it’s usually by someone who knows them or someone working in those facilities,” he said. “And these cases tug at your heart.”

Once a 99-year-old woman had all of her rings stolen from her assisted-living room. “We investigated and … we recovered her rings. You can’t imagine what that meant to her. The thief was someone who worked there and helped care for her,” he said. “Heirlooms disappear and sometimes we never find them.”

Being is this line of work is no accident, Ogle strongly believes. “God has given me a platform and He led me to do what I do. It is his will and has for sure been the right thing for my life,” he explained. Ogle and his family are members of Foothills Church in Maryville.

He recently helped solve the case of a home burglary 52 years ago in Nashville. A Facebook post last week: “… Thanks to Detective Ogle’s persistence and dedication, a rare shotgun … was returned to its rightful owner.”

In a story, the gun’s owner spoke about Ogle: “There is a lot of negativity about law enforcement these days. But people need to know about Det. Ogle and other officers like him. He’s not getting anything out of this. He just did it because he appreciates the heritage and value of a family heirloom. People everywhere, especially Knoxville, need to know about that.”

And here is why Ogle keeps on doing what he does – serving the public: “It’s not often I get a case (like) locating this shotgun. To return a relic of this nature was priceless,” he said. “It was such a great honor to return this gun to a family that has had such a big part in Tennessee history. It helps remind me why I keep on doing the job every day and the importance of doing what we do for everyone.”

Tom King has been the editor of newspapers in Texas and California and also worked in Tennessee and Georgia. If you have someone you think we should consider featuring, please email him at the link with his name or text him at 865-659-3562.


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