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Hutchison to seek re-election as county sheriff


Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison said he has always had a desire to help people and that desire is one of the reasons he is seeking another term as sheriff.

Hutchison will face challenger Larry Hunter in the May 2 primary for the position of sheriff of Knox County.

“My priorities will continue to be keeping neighborhoods safe and keeping children safe,” Hutchison said. “To keep children safe, we physically keep track of sex offenders. We have one of the best records in the state for keeping track of sex offenders.”

Hutchison said the Knox County Sheriffs Office works a joint program with the Knoxville Police Department that tracks convicted sex offenders. Detectives go to neighborhoods and maintain a close eye on offenders. They also conduct information seminars from time to time in daycare centers and schools to inform neighborhoods about the offenders and what the citizens can do to protect their children.

Hutchison said education is a strong source for protecting young people, and he believes the D.A.R.E. program is a good source for drug awareness. He thinks any program that emphasizes the consequences of drug use to the public is successful.

“The one philosophy I’ve always had and what I try to impress upon my officers is that the Knox County Sheriffs Office belongs to the citizens,” he said. “We work for the public.”

Hutchison mentioned several accomplishments in his 16-year term as sheriff.

“I think one of my accomplishments is that I reduced response time by re-establishing different zones,” he said. “I established Farragut as its own zone, so there are officers there at all times.”

Hutchison said he’s increased public communication by having a supervisor go to all Farragut town meetings to create a direct input between the community and the sheriff’s office.

“I also established a Web site where people can get information directly from us,” he said. “They can also keep track of any convicted sex offenders in their neighborhood.”

Hutchison said he also helped found the East Tennessee Homeland Security Council with several other area law enforcement officials.

“We felt it was necessary for us to combine all the resources in the event of a catastrophic event in the area,” he said.

Hutchison said he was proud of the increased cooperation with the Knoxville Police Department. He attributes a lot of that change to working with the new chief of police, Sterling Owen III.

”Things over there have changed so much since we’ve gotten a new police chief,” he said.

He said the Knox County Sheriff’s Office would continue to work cooperatively with the Knoxville Police Department’s major crimes division.

“When we catch persons that have committed armed robberies, we generally find they may have committed crimes in the city,” Hutchison said.

Hutchison said his department also would continue to work with KPD in the Family Justice Center, which deals with domestic violence.

“I have also offered to allow their officers to join our aviation unit,” he said.

Hutchison said if he is re- elected sheriff, one thing he’d like to try and do in the future is track new people coming into the community. Learning who is new to the community will allow the sheriff’s office to extend its outreach programs to let the newest residents know what programs are available to them.

Hutchison has been with the sheriff’s office for 31 years, but he never initially intended to go into law enforcement. He said he had a construction company that, at that time, was suffering due to inclement weather. He took a job as a process server with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and worked his way up through the ranks.

He and his wife, Jan Kohl Hutchison of Farragut, have been married 32 years. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

 

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