Knox County Sheriff candidate Bobby Waggoner issued a release today that said “at any given time, there are fewer than 30 officers on patrol in Knox County.”
Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones, called it “a lie,” adding that “it shows just
how out of touch he is.”
“You’re not supposed to get desperate until the end of the campaign,” Jones
Waggoner, Jones and Charles “Sam” Hammett Jr. will square off in the May
Republican primary. There are no Democratic candidates.
Waggoner, a retired chief of detectives with the KCSO, in his release said
the department “is still working from a patrol map that’s more than two decades
old.” He said the department’s patrol division consists of five shifts that cover
a 24-hour period, and that 28 officers are assigned to each shift. He said of
those officers, as many as five “can be off on vacation or personal leave” or
in training, etc.
So, I asked the sheriff about this and he said it’s hogwash. He said the
office uses “calls for service statistics” to determine how many patrol cars
and officers should be available. He said that during a period from 12:30 a.m.
to 5:30 a.m. “there’s a possibility” that there are 30 officers on patrol, “but
any other time there’s 100 to 125 patrol officers, patrolling the
He said stats show that during the early morning hours calls for services
and accidents drop, so not as many officers are needed. (I guess most people
Jones also said that the department also has 70 detectives and more than 40
folks on the radio, so if something goes wrong, he’s got an army on hand to
take care of business.
He added that if Waggoner, who joined the department in 2001, was so concerned
about patrol numbers then he should have approached him when he was an