MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Hello friends. With the season of love (aka Valentine’s Day) approaching, many of us are thinking about loved ones and that perfect expression of our love and gratitude for those who mean the most to us. The past year has been tough on all of us, but I’ve learned that focusing on the needs of others is a good distraction from some of the bitter truths we are currently experiencing. As we forge ahead through 2021, we must remain hopeful that life will begin to return to normal from a deadly pandemic, a political storm, and the social unrest that overtook the country in the past few months. I’m grateful for my family, my friends, my deputies, and the great citizens of Blount County.
Now I ask you, what are you most grateful for?
Gratitude – it’s something that most of us struggle with, but doing unto others as you would have them do unto you is a good place to start to make a positive change not only in your lives, but in the lives of others as well. This is why I am asking each of you to accept my challenge to be the change that you want to see in the world by taking part in my “Pay It Forward” initiative.
What can you do to pay it forward?
Start with this:
• Focus on the positives in your life
• Look for the good in people
Next, take action. Here are a few ideas, but the possibilities are endless:
• Spend less time on social media and more time TALKING FACE TO FACE with one another.
• Find a non-profit and a cause you are passionate about and then contribute more of your resources.
• Perform random acts of kindness for friends and strangers alike.
o Smile more
o Hold the door open for someone
o Be courteous to other drivers
o Give someone your place in line at the store, post office, or other businesses
o Show kindness and respect to those less fortunate than you
o Pay for someone’s meal in line in the drive-thru
There are a multitude of things we can all do to make someone else’s life better, and at the same time be the change that we want to see.
Let us concentrate on counting our blessings as well as our contributions.
By taking part in this challenge and performing acts of kindness each day, you’ll see a change not only in yourself, but in the others you help. Kindness really is contagious. I want to see change as much as everyone else, but it must start at home, and it must start with each of us. I don’t know anyone who wants another year like 2020, so let’s do our part to see that doesn’t happen.
I ask that each of you accept this challenge and help spread positivity throughout our community – the sooner, the better. Please share this post and share your experiences on social media using the hashtag #PayItForwardBlountTN and #BlountSheriffTN.
I encourage you to share this post and ask your friends and family members to also accept this challenge as well. I am also asking that the Sheriffs in the other 94 Tennessee counties to take part in helping to change the world, one kind act at a time.
We ALL want 2021 to be a great year, and it all begins with us.
MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong said an 18-year-old Louisville man was charged Thursday in the death of his infant son.
Corey Ryan Dillow, 18, Red Hill Drive, Louisville, is in custody in the Blount County Correctional Facility. Dillow is charged with criminal homicide and aggravated child abuse. He is being held on bonds totaling $1,250,000 pending a hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court at 1:30 p.m. July 6, 2020.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to Dillow’s residence on Red Hill Drive in Louisville Wednesday where they found the infant unresponsive. Deputies attempted CPR on the infant before AMR Ambulance Service arrived and transported
him to Children’s Hospital in Knoxville where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators are continuing their inquiry into the case. The image is courtesy of BCSO Facebook.
MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong is proud to announce the Sheriff’s Office awarded three commendations to two deserving law enforcement officers and one heroic former law enforcement officer. The three commendations were awarded during a short ceremony at the Blount County Justice Center this morning.
Deputy Chief Jeff French awarded a Lifesaving Commendation to Blount County Sheriff’s Deputy Devan Teaster. On July 5, Deputy Teaster saved the life of Eric Spears following a car accident. Deputy Teaster saw that Spears’ arm was seriously injured. A few days prior, Deputy Teaster received TECC (Tactical Emergency Casualty Care) training and learned how to properly administer a tourniquet. Deputy Teaster saw that Mr. Spears’ arm was bleeding profusely and knew the bleeding had to be stopped. Deputy Teaster acted on his training and applied a tourniquet to Mr. Spears’ arms, stopping the bleeding. Though Mr. Spears’ ultimately lost his arm due to the severity of the injury, surgeons stated that Deputy Teasters’ quick and proper emergency care saved Mr. Spears’ life. Deputy Teaster has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since 2015 is a School Resource Officer.
Sheriff Berrong also awarded a Law Enforcement Commendation and a Citizen Service Award to University of Tennessee Police Department Asst. Chief Sean Patterson and his wife Anaida Patterson, respectively. On June 28, the Patterson’s were visiting Blount County and traveling U.S. Highway 321 West near the Big Springs Road exit when they came upon a vehicle pulled to the side of the road and saw frantic activity within the vehicle. Asst. Chief Patterson and Anaida Patterson, who are both retired law enforcement officers from New York Police Department, knew something was wrong based on their training and experience. The Pattersons turned around and saw the baby’s mother outside the car holding an unconscious infant boy. The baby, Joseph, was choking on a piece of food.
The Pattersons immediately took control of the situation, and using their training and rendered first aid by delivering back blows which dislodged the food. Baby Joseph began breathing again, regained consciousness, and suffered no lasting effects from the incident.
Several co-workers, friends, and family members of the law enforcement officers and the grateful victims were in attendance at the ceremony.
The Sheriff’s Lifesaving Award is conferred upon a sworn or civilian employee who is directly responsible for saving a life.
The Citizen Service Award may be conferred on any citizen who is not an employee of the Sheriff’s Office, and the act or achievement must be directly related to the overall law enforcement objectives of the Sheriff’s Office that may include extraordinary heroism or unselfish devotion to a fellow human being, or meritorious achievement in the performance of civic responsibility.
The Law Enforcement Commendation is awarded to a law enforcement officer from another agency who brings credit to themselves, their agency, and the Blount County Sheriff’s Office for an exceptional act clearly resulting in the saving of a life, or performing an act of valor that aids someone who is clearly in need, and who goes above and beyond for an individual, while the law enforcement officer is on or off duty and within the jurisdiction of Blount County.
The sheriff’s office recently awarded several other officers for their life-saving efforts, read about it here.
MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Several sheriff’s deputies were recognized for their lifesaving efforts and other deputies as employees of the month recently.
Deputy Rex Ogle received the honor of March Employee of the Month for intervening in a plot in March involving an unreported armed robbery that led to a group of individuals planning to do harm to the would-be robber. While on patrol on March 19, Deputy Ogle saw a vehicle with several people acting suspiciously and driving erratically. During the traffic stop, Deputy Ogle discovered a loaded weapon and a significant amount of cash, methamphetamine, and marijuana. He learned that one of the passengers had tossed another weapon from the vehicle and that the driver was being forced to drive to a secluded area and that the occupants were planning to harm the driver. Because of his proactive and reactive enforcement efforts, Deputy Ogle likely saved the driver from serious harm, and possibly saved his life. Deputy Ogle began his career at the Sheriff’s Office in January 2017 and serves as a patrolman.
Deputy Khalil Whitehead was awarded our April Employee of the Month for intercepting two burglary bandits during the overnight hours on March 31. While on patrol on Carpenters Grade road, Deputy Whitehead saw a vehicle pulling a utility trailer with two lawnmowers that were not tied down. Due to his training and experience, Deputy Whitehead believed the lawnmowers could be stolen. He attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle, but the driver accelerated into a neighborhood and drove through several yards before stopping at a retention pond. Both individuals in the vehicle fled on foot. Deputy Whitehead immediately caught one of the suspects. During his investigation, Deputy Whitehead found that the suspects had stolen the trailer, a riding lawn mower, and a push mower from three locations. He was able to return the stolen items to the owners, and the suspect was arrested on multiple charges. Deputy Whitehead began his career with BCSO in January 2018 and attended Class 017 of the Sheriff’s Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy. He is assigned to patrol.
Cpl. Chris Carter received the honor as our June Employee of the Month for talking an armed man out of committing suicide. The incident occurred on June 17. He and other deputies responded to the call of a man who was threatening suicide. Cpl. Carter was the first to arrive on scene and he encountered a man armed with a pistol on the front porch of the residence. The man stood up and refused to put down the pistol or comply as he walked into the backyard. Cpl. Carter remained calm and continued to try to get the man to relinquish the gun while talking o him empathetically and encouraging him that the situation was going to be alright. Cpl. Carter placed himself in harm’s way in proximity to the man so that he could hear him and continue to talk to him directly in an effort to peacefully resolve the situation. The circumstances, the man’s actions, including having both hands on the pistol, and action versus reaction principles could have easily ended badly. Fortunately, the man finally complied after 30 minutes and released the gun. The man was taken for an emergency mental health evaluation. Cpl. Carter has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since 2014, and was promoted to corporal in 2016. Cpl. Carter serves with the patrol unit.
The Sheriff’s Office also awarded two Lifesaving Awards and a Citizen Service Award. Deputy Patrolman Kendyhl Rodgers was awarded a Lifesaving Award for helping to save the life of a man who was trapped inside a vehicle that had become submerged upside down in the water on the night of April 21. Deputy Rodgers, along with a citizen, Mr. Scott Snipp, entered the water and freed the victim. Their actions likely saved the victim’s life. Mr. Scott Snipp also received the Sheriff’s Citizen Service Award for his actions. Deputy Rodgers began his employment with the Sheriff’s Office in 2017, and is assigned to patrol.
Our other recipient of the Sheriff’s Lifesaving Award is Deputy Patrolman Tim Pace. On April 22, Deputy Pace assisted Maryville Police Department on a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Tuckaleechee Pike and East Lamar Alexander Parkway. Deputy Pace and Maryville Police Department Cpl. Elizabeth Riffle performed CPR on the victim until Maryville Fire Department and AMR Ambulance Service arrived. A paramedic with Maryville Fire Department said “The early actions taken by Deputy Pace and Cpl. Riffle likely facilitated a successful medical response providing critical, life-sustaining oxygenated blood throughout his cardiac system.” Had Deputy Pace and
Cpl. Riffle not intervened, it is likely the man’s prognosis would have been drastically different. Deputy Pace has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since 2016 and is assigned to patrol.
Sheriff James Lee Berrong is proud of each of these deputies and of Mr. Scott Snipp for going above and beyond!
Images courtesy of BCSO.
MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong is asking the public to beware of another phone scammer who is posing as a Sheriff’s deputy and harassing citizens with phony phone calls.
The Sheriff’s Office became aware of the phone scam today. The individual claims to be Sgt. McAlister of the Blount County Sheriff’s Office. The originating phone number is ringing in as the Blount County Sheriff’s Office mainline, (865)273-5000, but the call is NOT coming from the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, and the caller is “spoofing” that number. The Blount County Sheriff’s Office also does not employ anyone by the name of Sgt. McAlister. When the scammer leaves a phone message, he is asking for a return call at (865)344-0059.
Please do not become a victim of this criminal activity. If you receive a call from the BCSO mainline and the caller claims to be Sgt. McAlister of the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, hang up.
No employee of the BCSO will EVER call an individual to tell them they have unpaid fines, or that they will be arrested because they missed jury duty. We will NOT call an individual and tell them they have an outstanding warrant for their arrest and that they must pay the fine or they will be arrested.
Deputies with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office routinely call citizens regarding Sheriff’s Office business, but it will never be to ask for money. If you ever suspect you are being scammed, you can call (865)273-5000 to verify that the individual is employed with the BCSO.
Please share this information with your family and friends.
MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong and the deputies of the Blount County Sheriff’s Office are saying goodbye to three long-time deputies who are retiring or scheduled for retirement in the next few weeks.
The Sheriff’s Office honored and thanked Deputies John Douglas, P.K. Gregory, and Kim “Boo Boo” Roach at a lunchtime event today. Sheriff Berrong presented each deputy with an inscribed memory box and a State of Tennessee flag flown over the state capitol.
Deputy P.K. Gregory retired in April after serving the Sheriff’s Office and Blount County for 21 years. During her career at the Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Gregory served as a corrections officer, school resource officer, and most recently in court services.
Deputy John Douglas retired in June. Deputy Douglas served with the Sheriff’s Office for 22 years. He began his career with the Sheriff’s Office in adult corrections and retired after a long tenure in court services.
Deputy Kim “Boo Boo” Roach started her career with the Sheriff’s Office 16 years ago. She spent her career serving as a clerk in jail records and most recently as a clerk in court services.
Sheriff Berrong is grateful for the loyalty and dedication each of these deputies has given.
“We have been blessed with the service and dedication of these three deputies,” Sheriff Berrong said. “Each one of them has dedicated a good portion of their lives serving this agency and this community. I wish them only the best as they begin their well-deserved retirement.” Images of retiring deputies are courtesy of BCSO. PK Gregory pictured in featured image.