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HCSO named East Tennessee's best department

Jeff Bobo • Dec 28, 2017 at 1:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County’s sheriff attributes his department’s success to continuous training, hard work and making sure every officer has the proper tools for the job.

Apparently that’s not going unnoticed.

Earlier this month, the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office was named the 2017 East Tennessee Department of the Year ahead of every law enforcement agency east of Knoxville.

The award was presented at the annual Tennessee Highway Safety awards banquet in Greeneville. It was sponsored by TruBlu Tactical Police Supply in Gray and presented by TruBlu’s marketing director, Sami Morelock.

“He has built an office on ethics, integrity and professionalism and expects the same from his officers,” Morelock said during her presentation. “Sheriff (Ronnie) Lawson has been able to add over 30 officers throughout the department to include guards that take work crews out to maintain county-owned property, which saves the county thousands of dollars. Sheriff Lawson expects his officers to be some of the best trained officers and allows the training division to provide much more training than what is mandated by the state.”

Morelock noted that in 2016 officers received more than 8,000 hours of training which averages out to almost double the state mandated 40 hours of training, and he has made equipment upgrades a top priority.

“And with the help of TruBlu tactical and GH Armor, each officer has been equipped with a fitted new ballistic vest and the SWAT team with new entry ballistic vests,” Morelock added.

“I didn’t know we were getting that, and it was a big surprise for myself and my officers,” Lawson said. “When I took office, one of my goals was to make the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office the most highly trained, professional law enforcement agency in East Tennessee. This past year in the Patrol Division, they were trained over 8,200 hours, and in the Corrections Department they were trained over 3,400 hours.”

Lawson added, “I’m a firm believer that officers rely on their training in times of need, whether it’s good or bad. I want my officers to be able to rely on excellent training that could save their life or someone else’s. This award belongs to the men and women in my department because they’re the ones day in and day out putting their lives on the line to protect our citizens.”

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