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Sheriff Wayne Anderson says he's working for a better tomorrow

May 5th, 2014 2:30 pm by Katherine Scoggins

Sheriff Wayne Anderson says he's working for a better tomorrow

Wayne Anderson ~ Candidate for Sheriff in Sullivan County

Sheriff Wayne Anderson was born and raised in Sullivan County, attended Kingsport City Schools and graduated from Dobyns-Bennett High School.

"I always wanted to be in law enforcement," says Anderson. "I had two uncles who served as sheriffs of Hawkins County."

His long career in law enforcement began in 1972, when Anderson served as a Reserve Deputy in the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department. Over the years, Anderson worked his way through the ranks of the Kingsport Police Department as an Officer on Patrol, Patrol Sergeant and K9 Officer, during which time he also served as a Police Detective and Vice Detective.

When Anderson first ran for sheriff in 1997, he received some invaluable advice.

"I was out campaigning and this gentleman came up to me and said 'Don't tell me what the other man hasn't done, tell me what you are going to do.' I try to follow that to this day. It keeps me focused on what I have accomplished, while keeping the negative comments to a minimum."

Increases in technology account for some of the biggest improvements in the way the sheriff's office operates.

"In 1998, for instance, we had five personal computers in our office," says Anderson. "Over the next 16 years, we added another 145 computers, all connected. All inmates in the Sullivan County jail are monitored by surveillance cameras which save a lot of manpower. Officers now use PDAs on patrol. This technology makes us more efficient in our jobs."

Video visitation and skyping allow visitors access to their family members or friends from other sites rather than face-to-face visits. "When you're having to escort 700 or so visitors, along with the inmates, for visitation, skyping can be a substantial cost savings."

Ankle bracelets are also widely used for those convicted of non-violent crimes. "It costs $47 a day to house an inmate," Anderson explains. "An inmate wearing an ankle bracelet, $10 a day."

While enforcing the law is Anderson's first order of business, he remembers fondly the impact law enforcement officials had on him as a young boy.

"We want to present a positive role model for children," Anderson says. "I really don't like it when a parent sees an officer in uniform and uses him or her to try to make their child behave by using threats. We don't put children in jail."

Throughout Anderson's tenure as Sheriff, he and the staff have worked together to coordinate Toys from Cops drives, Trunk or Treat at Halloween, and Bully Camp, a newer project that teaches children how to identify and combat bullying in the classroom, on the playgrounds, even on the Internet.

But while significant progress has been made in the local fight against crime, there are more problems already infiltrating schools and the community.

"Some of our future goals include expanding the number of resource officers in middle schools, and addressing the ongoing problems of alcohol and drug abuse," says Anderson. "We have had good success working collaboratively with state and local governments, other agencies, schools, and civic organizations. When we put our heads together, we have many more resources with which to try and solve these bigger problems."

Paid for by the Committee to Re-Elect Wayne Anderson, Sheriff; Frank Horne, Treasurer.

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