County Sheriff Tim Guider said he will continue to work with all
law enforcement agencies, including those local police officers
who may have thrown their support to his opponent in primary
elections earlier this month, and provide the same services to
Meanwhile, however, Loudon city officials are taking a closer
look at city policies surrounding the residence area of
employees, including the part-time police officer who opposed
Questions arose at the May 10 workshop meeting concerning a
post-election "rift" between the Loudon Police Department and
Loudon County Sheriff's Department. The rift developed when
Steve Cook, a part-time police officer, ran for Sheriff. Two
other police officers ran for elected positions as well.
In addition to Cook, Loudon Police Officer Mike Newman ran for
Commissioner District 4, but was unsuccessful in that bid for
office. Police officer Brian Jenkins ran for County Commissioner
District 1, Seat A, and was successful.
Jenkins and Newman, when asked to respond to comments about a
rift, said they were not aware of any conflict between police
and sheriff's department. Jenkins said, "I don't know if there
is or isn't a rift. I would challenge that. It puts me in an
awkward position. I try to do a good job. I went out of my way
to stay out of it.
Jenkins continued, "My reason for running for office nothing to
do with sheriff department. I want to work with the sheriff.
There were people who seemed to think they weren't being
represented. Loudon is my home; I've been here forever, and I
wanted to give back. It's small-town politics but that adds to
Newman said, "If there is a conflict; I just try to keep out of
the whole thing. ... The reason I ran for office was I felt
nobody was doing anything about the schools, and I have two
little girls. I ran because I thought I could help with the
school thing. I am approachable and felt I had insight on what
is needed because I've been around a lot. I thought I could make
Newman said he did not have anything against the Sheriff. "I
started my career there," he said. "My decision to run had
nothing to do with them."
Concerning the issue of part-time officers living outside the
service area, Lynn Mills, city manager, said the residence
policy was discussed May 17 in an executive session of the
regular council meeting.
During the May 10 discussion Councilman Lewis "Charlie Brown"
Garner had questioned Loudon Police Chief James "Bear" Webb
about part-time police officers who lived outside the service
area established by city policy.
Webb had responded that he did not believe the policy applied to
Mills explained that the service area for employee residency is
the LUB utility district, which goes beyond Loudon city
boundaries, almost to the Monroe County line and to Vonore.
Garner later said two part-time officers lived outside the
service area - Cook and officer Ken DeBoer, but Garner conceded
that because the service area is the city's utility district,
the policy itself may need to be altered. "You have people that
live over by the Justice Center that are outside the district,"
After elections, some fence mending may be warranted, some
council members feel.
Sheriff Guider said, ""My philosophy and career has been built
on getting along with law enforcement agencies. I pride myself
on my reputation. As far as cooperation, the Sheriff's
Department is there for anybody needing services in the county.
I don't know particularly why the majority, or why it seemed
several people at the (Loudon) police department were for my
opponent, but that is their prerogative. It would not influence
me as far as willingness. I will work with anyone. I think our
reputation speaks for itself, but it is the prerogative for each
individual to be for whoever they want to be for."