Our deputies go through basic training before they are certified as law-enforcement officers in the state of Tennessee. They then have to go through 40 hours of in-service training, annually.
Additional training is available in specialized areas of study, as well. Plus, our deputies receive hands-on training throughout the year as they work with older, more experienced deputies, every day. It is for certain that the way you practice is the way you respond in an emergency.
Since I am an advocate of gun ownership, I am happy to say that the gun safety classes that are given to Tennesseans seeking gun carry permits have been very successful. It has been reported that there have been less than one-half of one percent of these gun permit holders who have been involved in bad incidents with the use of their handguns. Apparently, in the few incidents that have happened, most involved alcohol.
The 350,000 plus gun permit holders in Tennessee have been a very responsible group of law-abiding citizens. The upside to this is that across Tennessee and the nation many home invasions and assaults have been thwarted by these citizens who now have permits to carry a handgun. These citizens know about firearms safety and the laws governing their use.
As a state certified handgun safety instructor, I encourage people to always comply with the legal and safety rules they have been taught. Hopefully, they pass these along to the next generation in their families.
Our deputies must comply with a lot of rules. These rules include the laws of Tennessee, ethical standards, along with the policies and procedures manual of the sheriff’s office. These are the rules that must be maintained in order for the deputy to have respect and credibility in a community. He or she must have a sense of propriety, as well.
A deputy, just like a good soldier, must have a strong sense of self-discipline. Regretfully, we have to dismiss people from time to time, because of an egregious lapse in their self-discipline. Some of these folks have been highly talented and in many ways were very effective. Unfortunately, their errant ways did them in and ended their careers. Most were very likeable, also.
The training continues. My goal is to keep our people sharp and ready to serve Bradley County. Yet, there is a balance of not overdoing to the point it will hurt the morale of our deputies.
In high school I played football at Cleveland High School and at Bradley Central where I graduated. Both schools had excellent coaches. However, one made us work so hard all week that by Friday we were beat up and physically spent. As a result at times we were not at our best. The other coach did not work us as long, nor quite as hard, but he covered all the fundamentals. When game time came around, this coach was more successful.
Times are rapidly changing. I want the Bradley County Sheriff’s deputies to be up to meeting coming challenges, as we protect our community.
Everything we do at the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is directed toward keeping the peace now. But, we are, also, working to lay a foundation for the peace to be maintained for the near and distant future.
That is my agenda.
Thanks for reading.