Kingsport Times News Thursday, November 27, 2014

News Local News Outdoors

TVA relying more on local police to patrol lakes, public areas

May 24th, 2014 8:16 pm by Hank Hayes

TVA relying more on local police to patrol lakes, public areas

TVA is relying more on local police to patrol the public use area overlooking the Fort Patrick Henry Dam. Photo by David Grace.

KINGSPORT — The Tennessee Valley Authority's public use area overlooking the Fort Patrick Henry Dam and reservoir looks much like it did when it opened more than a half century ago, but conditions have changed.

A meth pot was discovered next to the property and reported to the Kingsport Police Department this year.

The sight of trash — including cigarette butts, used condoms and beer cans — is there from time to time, although the items are eventually picked up.

The visitor center has been locked up for years and not available to the public. It gets vandalized from time to time.

And for the past two years, there have been no TVA uniformed officers to oversee the property.

"We used to have TVA police that patrolled on land and on water," TVA spokesman Travis Brickey said. "TVA decided to discontinue that function, and we rely more on local law enforcement and technology. The technology is primarily around our dam facilities. ... I don't think there are any plans to go back to the way it was. If there is a crime committed on TVA property, we have investigators."

For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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