Published: September 9, 2019
If I had to describe my first year of serving the citizens of Lawrence County as Sheriff in one word, I’d say it would be “busy”. Since taking office on September 1, 2018, my staff and I have “put the pedal to the metal” and not looked back in both making changes to the department and tackling crime in our community. We’ve made much needed policy changes to the Sheriff’s Department and Lawrence County Jail and, at the same time, have taken the greater steps in drug enforcement. These efforts led to tripling of the department’s warrantless arrests in the first six months of the year.
Upon taking office my goal was simple, make combating drugs and crime in Lawrence County my number one priority. The past year we’ve made great progress but there’s still plenty of work to be done. My deputies strictly enforce a “Zero Tolerance” policy on illegal narcotics and continue to make arrests daily. Methamphetamine continues to be a serious issue in our community in addition to prescription drug abuse. A tool that we’re utilizing daily in drug enforcement is our department’s vibrant K-9 program. The Sheriff’s Department has four K-9 units working daily on a host of drug related cases. Our four-legged officers were recently re-certified with the National Narcotics Detector Dog Association and issued Kevlar vests. These vests were made possible by Ray Allen and were purchased from the nonprofit company, “Mona Pants Foundation”.
Having been born and raised in Lawrence County and have seen many other parts of the world through my military service, I can say that our community is truly one of the most beautiful places in God’s creation. With that said, I believe we should work to keep our county clean and presentable. To tackle the long-standing issue of litter in the county, this past year we received a grant for a new litter control deputy. This position is at no cost to taxpayers and has already made huge improvements in cleaning problem spots in our community. Furthering the efforts of our litter control officer is our litter pick up crew. Since January, these men and women have taken the opportunity to give back to the county and have picked up over 12 tons of garbage off of Lawrence County’s roadways.
From September 1, 2018 to September 1, 2019, Lawrence County Deputies answered 17,322 calls for help. That’s an average of just over 47 daily responses. This number reflects a variety of types of calls including just over 3,000 traffic stops as deputies are stepping up enforcing traffic laws in rural parts of the county, 302 theft reports, 102 fraud cases, 266 requests for a deputy’s advice, and 379 domestic altercations. Deputies reported approximately 150 driving under the influence incidents and assisted at 227 traffic crashes. Deputies also processed 786 drug related arrest warrants and issued 23 drug paraphernalia citations.
The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department belongs to the citizens of the county. I encourage you to come by and see recent improvements and renovations made at our facility in the basement of the Lawrence County Courthouse. The work came on the heels of some water damage caused by a leak, so we took the opportunity to enhance our lobby area and gave it a more patriotic appearance that’s more receptive to the public.
This year has been a great start and is a firm foundation for the future, but we have lots of work left to do. These accomplishments that you’ve read about came as a result of true teamwork. I’m beyond proud of my entire staff and look forward to seeing the advancements we will make in the coming months and years. We all work daily to make Lawrence County the best place in the world to live, work, worship, and raise your family. We will stop at nothing to see drugs and crime leave our community. That is my promise to you.
John Myers, Sheriff
Lawrence County, TN