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Tyree makes case for top county cop seat


Sheriff candidate Randy Tyree is hopeful he will be able to receive, by appointment, a position he barely missed obtaining in last year’s election.

Tyree, a former Knoxville mayor, is seeking the appointment of Knox County Sheriff since current sheriff, Tim Hutchison, will soon be out of that office due to a decision on the county charter by the Tennessee State Supreme Court.

“I’m definitely in the hunt,” he said. “I will be one of the applicants for the position. I will stand for re-election next year.”

Tyree said he isn’t doing much right now because there is no process set up by Knox County officials. County officials are scrambling to develop an appointment process.

Tyree said the “fire in my belly” separates him from any other candidates that may seek the sheriff position.

A native of Middle Tennessee, Tyree said he spent 12 years in law enforcement. He said he worked for, among others, the Knoxville Police Department and the FBI.

“The department has about nine hundred seventy-five employees and I just have sensed, particularly with the city and the county, relationship bridges have been burned,” he said. “There’s a real morale problem among the officers on the street and the corrections department. Having been there, I can relate to the difficulties they have.”

He said during the election run the position of sheriff sometimes makes it difficult for other officers to enhance their careers.

“If they want a career as sheriff, if they want to continue to be re-elected, it makes it tough on them to really put in career development programs to get focused on training and management techniques, and not be tied down so much with being in politics on the county commission level,” he said last year. “In a nutshell, I think the only politics a sheriff needs to be playing is to enhance the sheriff’s department in a professional way. That includes amendments for better pay for the employ-

ees, better recruiting methods

and making sure the force is

competitive.”

Tyree said his experience in 1971 as safety director for the City of Knoxville would be used to help officers. In that position, he said he established Operation Aquar-ius, a program, which facilitated the arrest of 180 drug dealers in Knoxville. He also established a career development program for officers in KPD.

“My efforts as sheriff will be in terms of finding ways of accentuating the positive and identifying those elements we have in common with the K-P-D, the state, the F-B-I, etcetera,” Tyree said.

 

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