Sep 24

REMINDER: WCSO Hosting Drug Take Back Day Sept. 26 at Sheriff’s Office

got drugs

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan wants to remind the public the Office will be hosting a Drug Take Back Saturday, Sept. 26, for anyone wanting to dispose of unwanted and/or expired prescription and non-prescription drugs.. The event to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the WCSO Office at 105 East High Street in Lebanon is in conjunction with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) National Take Back Initiative. A bin will be set up in the WCSO lobby area to drop off medications. No questions will be asked.

 

“It’s important to properly dispose of any prescription drugs you are not longer taking or are expired,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “The medicine cabinet is many times the first place young people look to begin experimenting with drugs. Unfortunately, many of us know all too well this can lead to addiction and overdoses, often involving our loved ones.”

 

State officials recently noted that death by drug overdoses was one of the leading causes of death in Tennessee. In Wilson County, there were a total of 1,061 deaths in 2014 with drug overdoses (26) surpassing all deaths involving the discharge of firearms (17) and motor vehicle accidents, totaling 14.

 

“It’s important to keep track of what kind of medications you have and how many tablets, pills, etc. you have used,” the sheriff said. “Just as you keep dangerous products out of reach of children, you may even consider keeping your medications in a locked cabinet. This is especially true if you have young people in the house who you may have never even suspected might try a medication you’re taking.”

 

DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back events provide an obviously needed and valued service to the public, while also reducing prescription drug abuse and trafficking, the sheriff said. “By taking these medications with no questions asked, the DEA is helping make Wilson County a safer place. We appreciate cooperative agency efforts such as this one to enable the public to regularly, safely, and conveniently dispose of such medicines when they are no longer needed or wanted.”

 

Sep 22

LSSD Board Awards Wilson Co SRO Bowen for Saving Life

LSSD Board Award Wilson Co SRO Bowen for Saving Life

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Special Resources Officer (SRO) Joe Bowen was presented a Meritorious Citation Monday evening by the Lebanon Special School District Board for recently saving the life of a young girl.

LSSD Student Services Administrator Mike Kurtz, who was also once an SRO at Lebanon High School, handed the officer the award for his “outstanding performance” in his quick reaction when he noticed a child in distress at a parent-teacher conference on Sept. 5. Bowen, who is normally an SRO at West Elementary happened to be filling in for another officer at Byars Dowdy Elementary for the conference, noticed the child was apparently choking on a piece of candy. The school nurse was off-duty at the time of the meeting. Bowen immediately sprang into action, performing the Heimlich Maneuver on the girl, dislodging the candy and ultimately saving the girl’s life.

“Because of his dedication to his duty, he was quick to react and save the child,” Kurtz said during the presentation. “Officer Bowen has a positive attitude and extreme dedication to his job. He did exactly what he was trained to do. This is why we have SROs in our schools.”

This year is Officer Bowen’s first year as an SRO although he has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 11 years. Ironically, LSSD School Administrator Kurtz was Bowen’s SRO at Lebanon High School when he was a student.

“When I saw what was happening,” Bowen said, “I knew I had to do something and that’s where my training came into play.”

Although the father was present, he speaks only limited English but was able to express his appreciation to Officer Bowen as did the child whose life he saved. The SRO said he was “very grateful for the award,” adding, “This award was not anything I was expecting. Just knowing the girl was ok was enough of an award for me.”

Sheriff Robert Bryan said he was extremely proud of Officer Bowen. “He is a true asset to our office and the community. We are fortunate to have him and all the other dedicated SROs in every school in the county.” Bowen is married to Mandy Bowen, who is a school nurse at West Elementary. They have two children, Connor, 11, and Jackson, who is seven.

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Sep 14

WCSO Lt. Harrison Receives TN DSHS Award

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WCSO Lt. Bob Harrison Receives TN Homeland Security Special First Responders Award

Wilson County Sheriff’s Lt. Bob Harrison has been awarded the prestigious “Three Stars of Tennessee” First Responders Award from the TN Department of Safety and Homeland Security for recognition of his outstanding service to the State during his long tenure in law enforcement.

Lt. Harrison, a 35-year law enforcement officer in various roles, was one of only six receiving the “Three Stars of Tennessee” Award to recognize first responders in emergency service, law enforcement and firefighters who have lost their lives or suffered a career-ending injury in the line of duty.”

Lt. Harrison, who is currently on leave while fighting two types of cancer, is also one of 20 First Responders recognized during the event held at the Conservation Hall at the Executive Residence in Nashville. Each year since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the TN DSHS recognizes those who have dedicated their lives for the safety and security of Tennesseans.

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan nominated Lt. Harrison because of his outstanding service with the Sheriff’s Office, where he has been awarded the Medal of Valor twice, in 2003 and 2008, for affecting over 1,000 arrests in a single year. The sheriff noted that Harrison has also received letters of commendation from numerous agencies, including the Kentucky State Police, the North Carolina General Court of Justice Fifth Prosecutorial District, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the TBI and local law enforcement agencies across Middle Tennessee.

Lt. Harrison was one of the first Terrorism Liaison Officers trained in Tennessee after 9/11. “Bob has been committed to the safety of the citizens of Wilson County, the State of Tennessee and thousands of others who travel through Wilson County on a daily basis,” Sheriff Bryan said of Lt. Harrison. “He has shown a very strong work ethic and willingness to take action as necessary to fulfill his responsibilities by arresting 12,085 people wanted on criminal charges since his employment at Wilson County.”

Sheriff Bryan further noted, “Many of these people (Lt. Harrison arrested) have long histories of criminal activities and violence. In doing so, he put his own life at risk in many dangerous situations.”

The awards, whose legislation for the “Three Stars of Tennessee Award” was sponsored by TN Sen. Becky Duncan Massey in 2014, were presented by Massey, Jim Henry, deputy to Gov. Bill Haslam, and DSHS Commissioner Bill Gibbons.

“Today is a special day in Tennessee as we recognize the men and women who risked and gave their lives as public safety professionals,” Commissioner Gibbons said at the presentation. “Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. We are grateful for their service and honor their memories today.”

Lt. Harrison’s career includes being a Special Agent (toxicologist) with the TBI, a forensic chemist with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida; a detective with the Lebanon Police Department and currently as Lieutenant and supervisor in the Criminal Warrant Division of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Sep 08

WCSO K-9 Team Take Top State Awards

Sgt Robin Curtis and Rocky K-9 TeamWilson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Robin Curtis and his K-9 partner Rocky took home some top honors during this week’s annual Region 13 PD-1 Trials, competing with 28 other dogs across the region.

Sgt. Curtis and Rocky took first place in Criminal Apprehension, third place in Obedience and for the second time won the coveted Jimmy D. Anderson Memorial award for the highest combined scores in apprehension and obedience. Sgt Curtis and Rocky won the Jimmy D. Anderson award in 2012 after winning 2nd overall, 1st in Criminal Apprehension and 2nd in Obedience. In 2011 Sgt Curtis and Rocky also won 2nd in Criminal Apprehension.

“Rocky has a unbelievable desire to please with a huge drive to work,” said Sgt Curtis of his partner with whom he has been work since 2009. “It’s been a great pleasure to work with a partner like Rocky. He’s a one of a kind dog.”

Sgt. Curtis said Rocky has had four criminal apprehensions on the street over the years in Wilson County and helping other agencies nearby. He has detected “well over a million dollars worth” of narcotics and currency, Sgt. Curtis said.

“This Office is extremely lucky and we are proud to have such a talented team,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “Those who benefit the most are the people of Wilson County who can be assured they have a superior K-9 partnership working for them.”
Rocky, an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois, will continue to work “as long as he is healthy and able,” the K-9 Officer said. “After he retires, I probably won’t get another partner. I really can’t see myself working another K-9 after being with such an exceptional dog for so long.
Rocky was raised and trained by Dean Hunter, Owner of Canine Command in Hendersonville, TN. Dean trains K-9 dogs for Hendersonville, Springfield and Gallatin Police Departments in addition to others.

Sep 02

WCSO Hosting Drug Take Back Day Sept. 26 at Sheriff’s Office

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a Drug Take Back Saturday, Sept. 26, for anyone wanting to dispose of unwanted and/or expired prescription and non-prescription drugs. No questions will be asked. The event to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the WCSO Office at 105 East High Street in Lebanon is in conjunction with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) National Take Back Initiative.

“It’s important to properly dispose of any prescription drugs you are not longer taking or are expired,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “The medicine cabinet is many times the first place young people look to begin experimenting with drugs. Unfortunately, many of us know all too well this can lead to addiction and overdoses, often involving our loved ones.”

The Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner noted in a recent report that drug overdoses in the state surpassed the number of people killed by motor vehicle accidents and even firearms discharges and blood pressure and kidney diseases in 2014. The number of drug overdoses has been escalating statewide for several years.

In Wilson County, there were a total of 1,061 deaths in 2014 with drug overdoses (26) topping that caused by all deaths involving the discharge of firearms (17) and motor vehicle accidents, totaling 14.

Sheriff Bryan encouraged people to begin now looking through their medications for any they are no longer taking or are expired in preparation for the Drug Take Back Day. “It’s important to keep track of what kind of medications you have and how many tablets, pills, etc. you have used,” the sheriff said. “Just as you keep dangerous products out of reach of children, you may even consider keeping your medications in a locked cabinet. This is especially true if you have young people in the house who you may have never even suspected might try a medication you’re taking.”

Medications you use for legitimate reasons are often subject to theft, and can lead to addition and ultimately even drug trafficking. Sheriff Bryan noted that there is a national epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is often the motive in numerous crimes. “We’ve seen pharmacy robberies and even murders increasing at an alarming rate because of drug addiction across this state and the entire country,” he noted, “and it often begins with a young person taking a few pills from someone’s medicine cabinet.”

DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back events provide an obviously needed and valued service to the public, while also reducing prescription drug abuse and trafficking, the sheriff said. “By taking these medications with no questions asked, the DEA is helping make Wilson County a safer place. We appreciate cooperative agency efforts such as this one to enable the public to regularly, safely, and conveniently dispose of such medicines when they are no longer needed or wanted.”

Aug 05

Wilson County SO Currently Accepting Applications for Upcoming Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy

 

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Taking Applications for 5th Citizens’ Academy

 The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office is currently taking applications for its 5th Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy. If you’ve ever wondered what the Sheriff’s Office does and how its employees perform their responsibilities, this is an opportunity to learn about it firsthand. The WCSO will be taking applications through Sept. 8, 2015 if you are interested in getting into a hands-on class.

Applications are currently being accepted for the 10-week course that meets from 6-9 p.m. every Tuesday at the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office located at 105 E. High St., Lebanon, TN. All applicants must pass a background check in order to attend.

There are no minimum physical requirements, just a desire to learn more about law enforcement and get exposure to day-to-day aspects of the many facets involved in enforcing the law and assisting fellow citizens. The class is designed not only for those who are considering a career in law enforcement but for anyone who wants to know through personal experience how the Office and its personnel function.

“This class helps citizens better understand what the Sheriff’s Office does, why and how its staff operate the Office for maximum efficiency and to assist our fellow citizens,” said Wilson County Sheriff’s Sgt. James Lanier. “It helps foster a better understanding, and hopefully, a more positive outlook with how the Sheriff’s Office performs its responsibilities. This course will show citizens how different the Sheriff’s Office is from the other law enforcement offices in Wilson County and how much more responsibility the Office has. For instance, the Sheriff’s Office operates the jail whereas other law enforcement agencies in Wilson County do not have that function.”

Some of the classes include topics such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, domestic violence, patrol procedures, Schools Resource Officers, Civil and Criminal Warrants, DUI awareness, handcuffing procedures and other law enforcement functions. The course also includes hands-on activities, field trips such as a three-hour jail tour, a visit to the firing range, lectures by Communications dispatchers, a representative from the District Attorney’s Office, demonstrations in boating safety and the Office’s Special Response Team among other activities.

“Wilson County citizens can benefit greatly from this program, said Sam Shallenberger, a past graduate of the Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy and currently President of the Academy Alumni Association. “The Sheriff, his deputies and his staff have built a curriculum that helps each of us understand how the department serves the community through the enforcement activity we all see, in addition to the tremendous responsibilities of the jail, courts, and process service functions we might otherwise never see. Each week has been crafted to present functions of the department in a way that is informative and entertaining.  Participants learn the role of each law enforcement entity in the county, and are exposed to several opportunities to volunteer and support those entities. By joining the Alumni Association after graduation, interested participants can choose to help the Sheriff host future classes which will educate more community members.”

Sheriff Robert Bryan started the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy three years ago to offer the community and business people a voluntary opportunity to get a better understanding of and full exposure to the Sheriff’s Office. The upcoming fifth class is limited to 25 citizens. To apply, contact Elizabeth Anderson at wcso95.org or call at 615-444-1412, ext. 255.

Jul 27

Wilson County Sheriff’s Detectives Arrest Two, Recover Stolen Goods

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office detectives have arrested two people and recovered some stolen property following an intense investigation into a string of burglaries in Southwestern Wilson County.

The Sheriff’s Office received several vehicle burglary reports on July 20 in the Chadwick Court and South Lakeview Drive areas. Among the items reported stolen were handguns and two stainless steel, high-performance boat propellers (valued at $5,500 each).

During the course of their investigation, detectives received a tip that a possible suspect was in Nashville trying to sell two boat propellers matching the ones stolen in Wilson County. The detectives contacted the suspect, arranged a meeting posing as potential buyers in Lebanon. The propellers were identified as the same taken from Chadwick Court four days earlier.

Detectives arrested two people. They are Ladon Roscoe Robertson, 29 years old, and Courtney Lynn Kerstetter, 20 years old. Each was charged with a count of theft over $10,000. They have a court date set for Sept. 8.

“We take all crime in Wilson County seriously,” Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “These detectives did a fine job following through with this investigation and recovering this property.”

Kerstetter, Courtney Lynn Robertson, Ladon RoscoeMeanwhile, the investigation continues. Anyone with additional information is urged to call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

Jul 08

WCSO to Sponsor July 25 County Music Fest, Fish Fry

WCSO to Sponsor Country Music Festival, Fish Fry to Support Vets Memorial Museum

 

Everyone is invited to help support our veterans during the upcoming Country Music Festival and Fish Fry to be held 2-6 p.m. Saturday, July 25th at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. All proceeds will go to benefit the Wilson County Veterans Memorial and Museum.

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office is sponsoring the event, which will feature the “Gold Rush” Band and a number of special guests. Tickets for the benefit are $10 for the food and concert. Children accompanied by adults eat free.

There will be a Johnny Cash Tribute and an Elvis Tribute as well as special music and performances by Don Willis, a long-time musician who travelled with numerous talented performers nationally. Willis is also employed with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. In addition, the County Music Festival will feature local artists Karen Wheeler, John Crabtree, Brenda Allen and other country music entertainers whom many will recognize.

“We hope to see everyone support our veterans even if they cannot attend the concert and fish fry,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “Our soldiers have given so much for us, we feel helping build a place where people can learn about the sacrifices our veterans of past and present have made for us is the least we can do. By contributing to this event, you will help people learn for years to come about what our veterans have given and continue to give every day for America.”

The Country Music Festival and Fish Fry is one of a number of events scheduled to help fund the Wilson County Veterans Park and Museum. Phase One of the project was erected near the Wilson County Courthouse last year, which includes an eternal flame, POW-MIA monument, star-shaped fountain, monuments for all branches of the military and several flagpoles. Phases Two and Three of the project will include offices and a museum featuring a number of artifacts from various past and present wars.

Anyone who would like more information should call the Wilson County Veterans Office at 615-444-2460.

Jul 06

WCSO to Sponsor Country Music Festival, Fish Fry to Support Vets Memorial Museum

WCSO to Sponsor Country Music Festival, Fish Fry to Support Vets Memorial Museum

 Everyone is invited to help support our veterans during the upcoming Country Music Festival and Fish Fry to be held 2-6 p.m. Saturday, July 25th at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. All proceeds will go to benefit the Wilson County Veterans Memorial and Museum.

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office is sponsoring the event, which will feature the “Gold Rush” Band and a number of special guests. Tickets for the benefit are $10 for the food and concert. Children accompanied by adults eat free.

There will be a Johnny Cash Tribute and an Elvis Tribute as well as special music and performances by Wilson County Sheriff Office Chaplain Don Wilson in addition to local artists Karen Wheeler, John Crabtree and Brenda Allen.

“We hope to see everyone support our veterans even if they cannot attend the concert and fish fry,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “Our soldiers have given so much for us, we feel helping build a place where people can learn about the sacrifices our veterans of past and present have made for us is the least we can do. By contributing to this event, you will help people learn for years to come about what our veterans have given and continue to give every day for America.”

The Country Music Festival and Fish Fry is one of a number of events scheduled to help fund the Wilson County Veterans Park and Museum. Phase One of the project was erected near the Wilson County Courthouse last year, which includes an eternal flame, POW-MIA monument, star-shaped fountain, monuments for all branches of the military and several flagpoles. Phases Two and Three of the project will include offices and a museum featuring a number of artifacts from various past and present wars.

Anyone who would like more information should call the Wilson County Veterans Office at 615-444-2460.

 

Jul 06

WCSO Obtain Jail Drug Smuggling Indictments Against Eight

WCSO Obtain Jail Drug Smuggling Indictments against Eight

The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office has arrested eight people in connection with indictments issued by the Wilson County Grand Jury for smuggling drugs into the jail. Others are expected at a later date.

Those arrested for allegedly bringing contraband into the jail include: Frances Eleanor Binkley, 35, of Lebanon; Jennifer A. Young, 31, of Watertown; Kimberly I. Vance, 37, of Lebanon; Edward Lee Judkins, 52, of Smithville; Derek Walthel Neal, 36, of Lebanon; Jill P. Gardner, 48, of Lebanon; Amy N. Stewart, 28, of Lebanon; and Kimberly Dawn Dobson, 35, of Lebanon.

“These indictment and arrests are the result of a well-trained, dedicated staff of correctional officers who are being diligent in their duties,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “I want to thank these officers and the investigators who spend countless hours trying to detect these illegal drugs and discover which offenders are trying to smuggle contraband into jail.”

The persons indicted included inmates who were trying to bring in everything from narcotic prescription pills to street drugs such as cocaine and marijuana to other substances banned in the Wilson County Corrections Facility, according to Jail Administrator Capt. David Bennett, who noted that correctional staff undergo extensive training each year to be alert to these kinds of illegal activity.

The sheriff explained that the persons indicted and arrested are ordered by the courts to do their time for their crimes and know in advance they are coming to jail to serve time. “These convicted criminals are doing everything they can to bring in illegal contraband and we are doing everything we can to stop it within the bounds of the state and federal constitutions.”

Sheriff Bryan added, “We will not tolerate this kind of illegal activity. We will continue in our efforts to detect those who are trying to smuggle contraband into our correctional system and intend prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”