Sheriff Hammond: Defending The Sheriff's Posse - And Response (3)

Monday, June 18, 2012 - by Sheriff Jim Hammond

As your sheriff, I am writing this open letter to the citizens of Hamilton County.  

In recent days, I have been taking a lot of heat from some in the print media regarding my stand on commission cards, special deputies and the Sheriff’s Posse.  I normally refrain from commenting publicly about such articles, because I realize everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  Also, as an elected individual, I know I am fair game.  This time, however; I feel I need to defend this matter more vigorously.

Unfortunately, there are those in our community who strongly oppose our Second Amendment right to bear arms in order to protect our lives.  Fortunately for us, Tennessee and Hamilton County have a rich history regarding the right to bear arms.  Through legislative mandates, the state of Tennessee has established  the right for all 95 sheriffs to issue commissions, special deputy status and even the right to organize a posse which uses law abiding citizens to assist the sheriff in the protection of the county. I believe it is not only very just but significant that the state legislature has never felt the need to change this vital responsibility and obligation of each sheriff. 

Reporters, of course, have access to barrels of ink with which to attack a sheriff’s right to utilize citizens for the safety and welfare of their community.  Callously, that can even include both men and women who are in good standing in the district. Such reporters and staff will even imply that these good men and women are neither fit nor capable of assisting in the protection of their community.  I believe this is an attack not only upon those individuals but also upon the important freedoms we hold so dear as Americans. 

Do I believe I should randomly arm or commission every individual who wants to go armed or act under the color of law like our dedicated men and women in law enforcement?  Absolutely not.  Nor do I intend to pass out these time-honored credentials indiscriminately. There are procedures to be followed, personal record checks to be made and policies and procedures to be followed.  

Even then, sometimes a commissioned individual who passes an initial background check will break the law, but these individuals are most often quickly flushed out and removed from holding commissions.  

By the way, we all know people in every profession of life who have made poor decisions, violated policies or laws and have suffered the consequences, sometimes even bringing dishonor upon their employers. 

As the sheriff of our county, I have enough confidence in our good citizens that they will  behave in a professional manner in their desire to assist in protecting our county. The majority of our commission card holders are certified law enforcement officers who work for other municipalities in Hamilton County. Another few are employed as government officials, and there’s a few who the media has chosen to label as “Friends of Jim.”   

Actually, I would hope that most of the citizens of this great county are indeed “Friend’s of Jim.”  As a realist, however; I know there are political diversities, philosophical discrepancies and sometimes just plain personality differences that would preclude everyone from being a “Friend of Jim’s.” 

Finally, I would say that every citizen in good standing under the law has an open invitation to apply for our Sheriff’s Posse. The Posse is not now nor ever has been an exclusive membership.  It has always been a support group for the sheriff by word-of-mouth invitation. Being a financial supporter of the sheriff has never been a prerequisite to joining.   

I might warn you, though, if you’re a female, there is a very real threat that a certain reporter would delight in printing your age in one of her reports, as she did with my wife without mentioning anyone else’s age in her article.

Look, I understand that we live in a day and age where budgets are strained for law enforcement – but let me assure you that crime never has and never will take a holiday. That’s why these types of citizen support groups are so important to law enforcement.   As your sheriff, I will always stand committed to serve and protect all the citizens of Hamilton County. 

Jim Hammond 

Sheriff of Hamilton County  

* * *

Thank you, Jim.  Too bad you had to speak to the public concerning the inappropriate and needless "journalism" of a few. 

You have done a remarkable job in all you have undertaken to serve our county. 

God bless you. 

Chris Kidwell

* * *

Count me as part of your posse.

Gregg Juster

* * *

In spite of the negative press from the major media outlet in Chattanooga, Sheriff Hammond has done the best job of any sheriff this county has had in recent memory. 

We all, including the media, should be thankful we have him, and support him. 

John L. Odom




Roy Exum: This Library Comes Alive

I am pretty positive that I haven’t stepped foot in a library in the last 50 years. Between the ever-widening Internet, with all of its search engines and infinite resources, I have got about as much use for a library as I would if I read a book about a transgender person. I have neither the time or inclination. Be like trying to teach a pig to sing – the pig always get bored. ... (click for more)

Rep. John Deffenbaugh: Week 11 House Of Representatives Report

The Georgia General Assembly reconvened under the Gold Dome on Monday, March 20 for day 36 of the 2017 legislative session. Sine die is less than a week away, and the House had another busy week of reviewing legislation in committee hearings, voting on bills and resolutions on the House floor and giving final passage to several bills that will now be considered by Governor Deal. ... (click for more)

State Says "Beef" Between 2 Bloods Gangs Started Over A Female And Led Eventually To Shootings At College Hill Courts

The state presented testimony on Monday about a feud between two Bloods gangs that allegedly eventually led to a 16-year-old shooting up a unit at College Hill Courts - killing one woman, injuring another, leaving a child paralyzed and injuring a member of the other Bloods gang. A city police gang expert said the bitter rift between the Athens Park Bloods based on the Southside ... (click for more)

Search On For Chad Cook, Missing Since Early Monday Morning After Going Dirt Bike Riding On Walden's Ridge

Walden's Ridge Emergency Services has been assisting the Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office searching for a missing person from Hamilton County since 10:30 a.m. Monday. Chad Cook, 38, was last heard from by family members at 2 a.m. Monday. Family members reported to Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office personnel around 2 a.m. that he, along with two males and one female, were ... (click for more)

Central's Parrott Throttles Ooltewah With 1-Hit Shutout

Ooltewah looked like it was still on spring break. Central was sharp, Brooke Parrott dazzling, Mikayla Gill swung the bat well and the Lady Pounders played like an unbeaten, once-tied ballclub. Parrott threw a one-hit shutout – the hit was a wind-blown pop on the infield – and Gill slapped a two-run double off Kayla Boseman to right-center field in the third inning and ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Thumps Bledsoe Co., 11-1

The Notre Dame baseball team was in a race of a different kind Monday evening and the Fighting Irish came out on top in all three categories. Facing the Bledsoe County Warriors at Notre Dame’s Hunter Field, the Irish beat the rain, they got finished before dark and most importantly, beat the Warriors 11-1 in five innings as they improved to 4-2 overall with the same record in ... (click for more)