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New sheriff addresses Farragut issues

Recognizing Farragut as a “booming community” where Knox County Sheriff’s Office response call data have not been reevaluated in “I guess, for ten to twelve years,” new Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones said he’s committed to maximizing KCSO patrol in the town.

“The only thing I can tell you is that’s one of the number-one things we’re looking at right now,” said Jones, former KCSO chief deputy with 28 years law enforcement experience. “It’s been a while since we’ve done that, is looking at the beat lines, what officers cover which beats, and we’re looking at the response times. ... More than likely they need someone there quickly.

“We’re going to get with the E-9-1-1 Center, and we’re going to look at the response time calls of all of Knox County,” the Sheriff added. “Like maybe for the last year. And if we need to redistrict some of the lines, put officers closer to some areas where we get more calls than where we get others, [we will] to make sure our response time is a good response time.”

As for a timetable for implementing necessary coverage changes once E-911 information is assessed, “I’d say that’ll happen within the month, that’s what we’re looking at,” Jones said.

Pinpointing an exact number of officers patrolling within the town of Farragut limits in any one shift, “I can’t tell you because the shifts overlap, you’ve got day shift, you’ve got evening shift, you’ve got night shift,” the Sheriff said. “With night shift there’s an overlap period of a couple hours where you have twice as many in an area as you normally do on a shift.”

In addition to more violent crimes such as break-ins, speeding, running stop signs and tractor-trailers avoiding Interstate 40-75 weigh scales (a violation of town ordinances by cutting through Farragut, usually Campbell Station/Kingston Pike/Watt Road going south and reversed going north) are violations cited by resident feedback as happening much too


“We’re committed to having officers in our subdivisions ...,” Jones said.

Sheriff’s Office Chief Ronnie Chamberlain handles complaints in Farragut and Knox County (865-971-3905). Jones said he’s “not aware” that Farragut has any higher volume of complaint calls more than other Knox County areas. However, “We’d love to hear from the community,” he said.

Jones, 48, said KCSO Capt. Ben Harkins, Farragut sector captain, “does a great job down there, he’s really active in the community.”

About possible “town hall” type-gatherings with the Farragut community, Jones said he has “no set plans on the calendar now” but added he is willing to schedule such an event. “We’re going to be accessible to the media, we’re going to be accessible to the public because we need both the media’s and the public’s input to help us do our jobs,” the Sheriff said.

“This is a transition in the middle of a period of time where we didn’t think there was going to be a transition,” Jones added, “so we’re going through a lot of changes right now. ... They just need to bear with us for a little bit of time for this transition period and we’ll show ’em what we can do.”

As for the history of KCSO’s law enforcement in Farragut, “When they incorporated it [in 1980], there was an agreement between the Sheriff’s department and the town of Farragut that we would provide law enforcement to that town,” Jones said, adding KCSO has a copy available in its downtown headquarters. “I can’t tell you the details of it.”

A copy of that agreement was not made available to farragutpress as of press deadline.


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