7 months ago

2017 Annual Report Final

2017 IN

2017 IN REVIEW Sheriff James Lee Berrong and Mayor Ed Mitchell talk to the new EMRs. The program launched in October. The first group of EMR-certified Deputies received their medical bags and are equipped to provide life-saving assistance to citizens. Sheriff’s Office Launches Emergency Medical Responder Program The Sheriff’s Office formally launched a pilot Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) program in October. This groundbreaking program is a one-of-a-kind program in Tennessee. EMR certified deputies are equipped with additional life-saving skills and equipment, and they are able to get information more quickly when it comes to life-and-death emergencies. Ten deputies who expressed interest in the certification were selected to take part in the initial program. They undertook a 60 hour certification course taught through AMR ambulance service, and then passed a national test before receiving certification. Sheriff James Lee Berrong and Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell saw a way to enhance medical services in Blount County. Often, Sheriff’s deputies are the first to arrive on a scene. Now they are able to provide some medical services to improve emergency medical care in the county and provide a faster time to start life-saving procedures for citizens. The deputies are spread among the three patrol shifts, and they receive an additional $4,000 per year. The Sheriff’s Office plans to add 10 additional deputies as EMRs each year. 28 Deputy Hal Weeden and Deputy Kevin Pineda demonstrate the capabilities of the UAS systems. Sheriff’s Office Implements small Unmanned Aerial System Program The BCSO took another step into the future in 2017 with the implementation of an small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) program. Two deputies received certification to operate the systems. The larger of the portable systems is equipped with FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared Radiometer), a thermal imaging camera that can be used to locate individuals in low light environments. The BCSO utilizes the systems in search and rescue operations, accident and crime scene investigations, perimeter security, active pursuit support, and support and coordination with other first responder agencies. K-9 Unit Expands to Corrections The Sheriff’s Office deployed its first K-9 in the corrections facility in 2017. K-9 Luna, a German Shorthair Pointer, is assigned to Deputy Skip Kindig. K-9 Luna specializes in searches for tobacco and other contraband in the corrections facility. Maryville residents Bob and Eunice Hansen contributed the funds for the purchase of Luna. The Hansens are long-time supporters of law enforcement, and are very fond of the K-9 unit.We cannot thank them enough for their support! Deputy Skip Kindig & K-9 Luna

Sheriff ’s SWAT Team Receives State of the Art Equipment The Sheriff’s Office took delivery of a 2017 Lenco BearCat in April. In April 2017, the BCSO took delivery of a Lenco BearCat, a 20,000 pound 4 x 4 response and rescue vehicle that the Sheriff ’s Office purchased with money from the drug fund. The BearCat is used to transport personnel, provide ballistic protection for deputies and citizens during critical incidents, deter hostile acts toward deputies and others, and navigate severe weather conditions and other natural disasters. Within two hours of delivery of the vehicle, SWAT members utilized it to pick up a federal drugs and firearms suspect. This new equipment allows deputies to be prepared to address any situation they may face, and will aid personnel in rapid response situations, such as active shooter incidents. BCSO Hosts Teen Driving Class Sheriff James Lee Berrong launched a pilot program in July 2017 geared toward new teenage drivers. The class, aptly named STAND (Sheriff and Teens Against Negligent Driving), included 20 local students. The class is taught by Sheriff’s Office certified driving instructors. The participants, who hold either a permit or a graduated driver’s license, are taught about the hazards of distracted driving, drunk and drugged driving, defensive driving, driver awareness, and night driving. Students participate in a classroom and hands-on environment on the Sheriff’s Office driving track. We hope to continue STAND classes in the coming years. Active Shooter Seminar for Houses of Worship Draws Large Crowd In November the Sheriff’s Office hosted an active shooter seminar for church leaders and security team members at East Maryville Baptist Church. We never imagined that more than 1,200 people from the East Tennessee area would fill the worship center for the seminar. The highly popular lecture was led by BCSO Training Sgt. Josh Blair who held the crowd’s attention for more than two hours. Sgt. Blair highlighted the importance of being proactive as a church, ways to deter an active shooter situation, techniques to use if an active shooter comes in, establishing a security team and the legalities, making the congregation more aware of their surroundings, and what to expect when law enforcement arrives on the scene. The seminar was prompted by a string of church shootings in 2017, including shootings in Sutherland Springs, Texas in November and Antoich, Tennessee in September. Following the seminar, Sgt. Blair and the BCSO training staff continue to visit area churches to perform security assessments. 29

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