Former Loudon police chief dies

Vicky Newman-News-Herald
Former Loudon Police Chief William Henry "Bill" Grimes died Sunday at Parkwest Medical Center.

The Easter holiday death came less than a year after the death of another former Loudon police chief, Johnny Lennex, Grimes' immediate predecessor.

Grimes was policeman and chief for nearly 30 years.

"Chief Grimes was one of my childhood idols," current Loudon Police Chief James "Bear" Webb said. "He was a good size guy” tall, broad shouldered” he looked the part of a policeman. He was a no-nonsense, take-care-of-business kind of guy, the sort of person everybody would want to have as a police officer."

When Webb started on the force in 1967, he worked third shift and Grimes was on second shift.
"I knew him but didn't work closely with him," Webb said. "I knew him since I was a kid. I was raised around police officers."

Bill Anderson, another former Loudon police chief, served before Webb and was a former partner of Grimes and Lennex.

"I worked with him for 29 years and we both went to Blairland Baptist Church," Anderson said. "The most important thing I can say about him is he was right with the Lord for years. We will miss him, but he is with the Lord now. He was a good person. That's it in a nutshell."

Another officer who worked with Grimes called him a "good guy."

"I have worked for five police chiefs in my career," Officer Kenny Ridings, who began working for LPD in 1986, said. "I've buried three."

Ridings said Grimes was a person who saw everything in black and white.

"There was no gray area with him," Ridings said. "He was very soft-spoken. He wasn't big on change. If he liked you he was good to you. If he didn't, he stayed away from you."

Loudon Councilman Jimmy Parks also worked with Grimes for many years.

"I knew him well," Parks said. "We worked together for years on Friday night ball games and parades and we worked two shifts together before he was chief. He was a super guy and a top-rate person with the police department. He just did his job and never got excited. He was laid back and if you did your job, everything was OK."

Eugene Lambert, former city councilman and mayor, said Grimes was an excellent law enforcement officer and administrator.

"I had the honor of working with old Bill as policeman and chief of police," Lambert said. "He was a fine, upstanding fellow and you could trust anything he told you. He was dedicated to his job as policeman and chief. We have had some good policemen through the years but in my mind he ranked at the top. You could trust him to do the job fairly."