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Knox County sheriff meets with town leaders


Recalling the pride he felt having a patrol car with only 130,000 miles as a young Knox County Sheriff’s Office patrolman, Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones said he plans to add more KCSO miles to Farragut area patrols.“We’re looking at adding another beat, actually, in the Farragut area, which would put another police car down here,” Jones told Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen gathered to speak with the recently appointed sheriff prior to FBMA’s regular bi-monthly meeting Thursday, March 22, in Town Hall.

“I was talking to the mayor [W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III], we’re looking right now [to do] some stuff with software to make sure that our patrol zones are efficient to where we can get the help to people who need it the quickest, in the best manner,” Jones added during a 17-minute address and question-and-answer session. “I think things are going great down here.”

Countywide, “We’re about to the manpower we need to be.”

Concerning Farragut’s study of traffic-light cameras, Ford said “we had our staff go out and observe four intersections.”

Jones, a veteran of Knox County law enforcement since 1980, reaffirmed traffic light camera effectiveness in reducing intersection crashes statewide.

“I think you’ll see when you start that ... it really works,” the sheriff said. “I know you saw in the paper where they tried to start a bill against it, and when they showed the statistics that was the end of the bill.”

KCSO Capt. Ben Harkins, Farragut sector captain, received praise on two fronts.

“I already told the sheriff that if he had any special medals that Captain Harkins certainly deserved two for coming to our board meetings so much and responding to our citizens,” Ford said. “He’s a person of the community, being a member of the Rotary Club.”

Jones labeled Harkins “a big help to us, great help. ... He’s a SWAT team guy and does all the good stuff that we need. I know he does a good job down here because I here the feedback that comes from down here.”

Jones said KCSO and Knoxville Police Department “are really working close together now, it’s amazing,” adding, “we’ve got some new initiatives, we’re getting ready to do some stuff with the city. Some joint units.”

Specifically, “I signed an inter-agency working agreement with Knoxville Police Department [in mid-March], which gives them jurisdiction to ... come into Knox County and investigate the crime and arrest anybody without Herb Moncier [attorney] bringing up the legality.”

As for resource comparisons of KCSO and KPD, Jones said in prior years “anything we needed as far as canine dogs, anything with bombs, any specialty units, we had to call the police department. And now it’s totally opposite. ... They call us.”

Born in Middlesboro, Ky., Jones, 48, came with his family to Knox County as a 6-month-old. “Cumberland Estates is where I live, and I’ve lived there all my life,” he said.

Beginning with KCSO in 1980, Jones said he worked his way from jail duty to patrol for “about” four years, “then I went to the detective division,” the sheriff said. “After that I got promoted, we started a Metro Unit, a task force unit between the city and the county, a narcotics unit. I worked over there for about thirteen years.”

Jones said he was next promoted to lieutenant “over the homicide unit, major crimes unit” before taking over as chief of detectives.

Joining KPD to “help start a cold case unit,” Jones said he stayed with the city six years before returning to KCSO.

 

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