May 12

#MoveOver Campaign

IMG_0854Wilson County Sheriff’s Office asks you to #MoveOver. Save a Life! This is part of National Police Memorial Week in honor of the Move Over law requiring motorists to move over if possible to the left lane when approaching an emergency vehicle such as police car pulled on right side of road. Pictured from left to right are: SRO Kent Beasley, Detective Diane Gilbert, Deputy Jennifer Mekelburg, Corporal Emy Bates, Sheriff Robert Bryan; Major Gary Keith; Detective Walker Woods; and Deputy Matthew King.

May 11

Wilson County Law Enforcement Memorializes Fallen Officers

 

National Police Week Memorial Service held in Wilson County Monday, May 11 

Dozens of law enforcement officers, friends and family turned out today to honor and pay their respects to fallen officers in Wilson County today as part of the National Police Week Memorial Service.

The service, sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police, recognized all fallen law enforcement in Wilson County as well as across the nation.  The event, held in the Courthouse adjacent the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office included remarks and reading of the Wilson County law enforcement fallen officers’ names by most Wilson County Law Enforcement agencies including Sheriff Robert Bryan, Mt. Juliet Police Chief James Hambrick and Interim Lebanon Police Chief Michael Vanhook and others.

The program began with a presentation of colors by the Lebanon and Mt. Juliet Police Department Honor Guards, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. Lebanon Police Detective David Willmore, president of the Wilson County Lodge #71 began by thanking those who attended and expressed his condolences for those who have been died in the line of duty as law enforcement.

As Lebanon Police Officer Kevin Ragland, president of Lebanon FOP Lodge #83, noted in his remarks, “This is a week we remember our own.” He noted that all law enforcement officers and organizations such as the FOP and PBA are all “a brotherhood.”

WCSO Chaplain Don Willis spoke on behalf of PBA President James Lanier, who was unable to attend, noting that the numbers of officers dying by violence and unrest within communities has grown in particularly this year. “We are praying we reach a balance between individuals’ rights to liberties and the officers’ rights to go home each night and see their families,” Chaplain Willis said. “Forty-four will not be going home to see their families.”

Chaplain Willis offered a prayer of protection for all law enforcement officers as they perform their duties each day. Department heads then had the official reading of names of law enforcement who have been killed or died in the line of duty.

Among those memorialized are:

Mt. Juliet Sgt. Jerry Mundy; Wilson County Sheriff’s Deputy John Musice; Wilson County Sgt. Wiley Williams; Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Oscar Morris; Wilson County Sheriff Harold Griffin; Constable Ben Northern; Wilson County Deputy Millard Brown; Wilson County Deputy John Oakley; and Lebanon Police Chief Robert Nolen.

 

 

May 06

WCSO Citizens’ Academy Graduation

WCSO Citizens’ Academy Graduates Largest Class Ever

 Wilson County Sheriff’s Office honored its largest ever Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy class Tuesday night following a 10-week session that gave citizens a glimpse into what law enforcement officers encounter on a regular basis.

The 24 graduates of varying ages were all smiles as Sheriff Robert Bryan congratulated each and thanked them for attending what was sure to be a unique educational opportunity over 10 weeks.

“A lot of people hear only one side of what law enforcement officers do in certain situations, and there’s been a lot of negative publicity around our country,” Sheriff Bryan said. “We really appreciate you all taking your time away from your families and your commitment to understanding what we do in the Sheriff’s Office. That means a lot. And we appreciate all our instructors, alumni and everyone who has made this possible.”

Sheriff 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.

“This class helps to foster a better understanding between the citizens and the Sheriff’s Office,” said Wilson County Sheriff’s Sgt. James Lanier. “It familiarizes the citizens with how the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office operates. This course shows how different the Sheriff’s Office is from the other law enforcement offices in Wilson County, how much more responsibility the Office has compared to other agencies.”

All applicants had to apply for and pass a background check in order attend the Citizens’ Academy. During the intensive course, students got a glimpse into real-life situations law enforcement face each day. Some of the topics included 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 included 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.

“The Citizen’s Sheriff’s Academy provides a unique interactive look at the scope of our county’s law enforcement,” said Sam Shallenberger, a graduate of the Citizen’s Sheriff’s Academy and President of the Academy’s Alumni Association, who expressed his appreciation for those who made the 10-week course possible. “I came away from the experience with the impression that the Sheriff’s Office is like an iceberg, with only a portion visible to the general public. And now, we hope that you will go tell others what you think of this class and hope to see many join our alumni association that Sgt. Lanier has established.”

Sheriff Bryan told everyone he is anticipating many more classes in the future. “You are now part of our family,” he told the graduates.

The next Citizen’s Academy is scheduled for September 8.

Apr 22

Three WCSO Officers Attend National Conference

Detective Diane Gilbert, Corporal Emmy Bates and Deputy Jennifer Meck

Detective Diane Gilbert, Corporal Emmy Bates and Deputy Jennifer Meck attend “Breaking the Glass Shield” Conference

Three WCSO Officers Attend “Breaking the Glass Shield” Conference

 

Three Wilson County Sheriff’s Office deputies were selected to attend the recent “Breaking the Glass Shield” Conference hosted by the Tennessee Highway Patrol in Nashville.

 

The conference provides a forum for the female officers to be exposed to national recognized speakers and network with their peers from other states. More than 300 women from across the country and Canada attended, representing more than 70 agencies at this year’s training event.

 

Attending from WSCO were Detective Diane Gilbert, who joined the Office in September 1999; Corporal Emmy Bates, who began her career with WCSO in 2003; and Deputy Jennifer Mekelburg, who first started with the WCSO as a dispatcher in 2001.

 

“This Office felt honored to have this many fine women from our agency to attend this national event,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “All three are outstanding officers, and we are very proud of them. We hope to have even more attend the next conference.”

 

THP Major Betty Blair began the leadership training program in 2012 when she determined there are so few women in ranking positions in all State Police and Highway Patrol Agencies. Today, there are fewer than four percent in the Tennessee Highway Patrol, similar to all other states. There is only one female Colonel, Kriste Kibbey-Etue, Michigan State Police. Nationally, the average is 12-14 percent women in local agencies, Sheriff’s Departments and Police Departments.

 

“This motivated me to search for leadership training for women in law enforcement,” Maj. Blair said. “I was unable to find anything so, with Col. (Tracy) Trott’s approval and support, I developed our own.”

 

Maj. Blair said the majority of the classes consist of leadership training in addition to networking and other subjects. This year’s conference also featured several high-ranking law enforcement women addressing issues such the growing problems of human trafficking, critical incident stress debriefing and a judge’s perspective on law enforcement presented by Federal Court of Appeals Judge Julia Gibbons.

The biennial conference is open to all commissioned women in law enforcement in addition to support staff such as analysts, etc. Attendees received 16 hours of Peace Officers Standards Training (POST) for this year’s event.

 

 

 

Apr 17

WCSO Helps with Farm Days at James E. Ward Agriculture Center

20150417-farmdaysAn estimated 1,700 second graders are expected to learn all about rural farm work and life and how agriculture plays a vital role in our everyday lives during this week’s Farm Days.

The event, sponsored by the Wilson County Farm Bureau Woman, UT Agriculture Extension Office and Wilson County Soil Conservation will be held from 8:30-11a.m. and from 11:30-2 P.M. on Wednesday and Thursday at the James E. Ward Agriculture Center.

“It teaches them about rural living,” explained Wilson County Deputy Charles Hobson, who also raises cattle in addition to his law enforcement job. Hobson has participated in the event every year since it began 14 years ago. “The kids get to see animals, and experience things they may not see in everyday life.”

Diane Major, who works with Wilson County Soil Conservation, said the school children “get really excited” about the event, which includes second graders from all Wilson County Schools, Lebanon Special Schools District and some home-schooled and private school students who want to come.

Among the exhibits are farm animals (which children can touch), including goats, dairy and beef cattle, chickens, pigs, horses; a working-bee-farm; and a veterinarian who discuss how to care for the farm animals. There will be sheep-shearing, a rodeo cowboy in full dress costume. “They get all torn up about the cowboy,” Major added.

The Wilson County Farm Bureau will show the children grains and what kinds of products are made from wheat and corn seeds in addition to the importance of good nutrition and how farming is essential to healthy living. A master gardener will demonstrate gardening and present each child a seed to plant at home. The Soil Conservation employees will have a soil tunnel and explain why it’s important to conserve soil, etc.

Other exhibits include farm equipment and ATV safety. The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office will bring its mobile command center and allow children to look around. The Tennessee Highway Patrol will bring a patrol car and allow some children to get inside. LifeFlight will bring a helicopter, Hobson said, adding, “They will teach them how important it is in a rural area to have a way to get people to hospitals during an emergency.”

Major said the event began with about 700 children but that number has swollen to 1,700. “This is an all-volunteer event. We have approximately 200 volunteers who donate their times and resources to make this a success every year. We couldn’t do it without them.”

Apr 17

WCSO Recognizes Telecommunicators Week April 12-18

20150417-telecomweekThe Wilson County Sheriff’s Office is recognizing its front-line heroes during National Telecommunicators Week April 12-18.

“Although many people realize the importance of the crucial work telecommunicators do,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said, “it sometimes takes such tragedies as Sept. 11, 2001 to remind the public of the vital role our communications professionals play in life-or-death situations. We truly commend them for their work.”
During the week, the Sheriff’s Office hosted a luncheon for the communications staff and presented new jackets and door prizes as tokens of appreciation for their hard work and commitment to their duties.
“We are pleased to honor our rarely recognized men and women who save lives every day with their ability to calmly help others in many stressful and often dangerous situations,” Patrol Major Lance Howell added. “This is a just a small way to reflect on the role of 911 operators.”
Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to public safety telecommunications staff. The official name of the week was originally introduced by Congress in 1991 under the name “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.”
This is also a time to remind the public to always only dial 911 in cases of emergency. If you accidentally dial 911, stay on the line and explain your mistake rather than hanging up. This often means dispatching resources to a perceived but non-existent emergency often tying up resources for true emergencies.
During the past year, dispatchers received 26,484 calls. Of those, 1,870 were hang-up calls. There were an estimated 2,069 burglar alarm calls and 1,197 auto property damage calls. The busiest days of the week were Friday (4,125) followed by Monday (3,937) and then Saturday (3,877).

23 Attend WCSO Citizens’ Academy

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 Estimated 23 Attend Wilson County Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy 

Some 23 people are about to discover what it’s like being inside or operating a jail, trying to decide whether to shoot or safely disarm a criminal suspect, how to be a dispatcher and find out what it’s like to work for the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan welcomed the group along with Sgt. James Lanier, who will be conducting the Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy, which is a 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.  

The Sheriff, Sgt. Lanier and several other presenters gave class members an overview of what they can expect to learn over the next few months. Some of the classes include discussions of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, domestic violence, patrol procedures, Schools Resource Officers, Civil and Criminal Warrants, DUI awareness, police K-9 demonstrations, 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. 

“We are pleased this many people are interested in learning about the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and what this department does for Wilson County,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “We hope they will enjoy the classes and presenters who have worked hard to show what the Officers do, why and how they go about their jobs.”  

Although all participants must pass a background check, 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.   

“This class helps to foster a better understanding between the citizens and the Sheriff’s Office,” said Wilson County Sheriff’s Sgt. James Lanier. “It familiarizes the citizens with how the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office operates. This course shows how different the Sheriff’s Office is from the other law enforcement offices in Wilson County, how much more responsibility the Office has compared to other agencies.” 

“The Citizen’s Sheriff’s Academy provides a unique interactive look at the scope of our county’s law enforcement,” said Sam Shallenberger, a graduate of the Citizen’s Sheriff’s Academy and President of the Academy’s Alumni Association. “I came away from the experience with the impression that the Sheriff’s Office is like an iceberg, with only a portion visible to the general public.  Sgt. Lanier established the Alumni Association so that graduates can continue to contribute and support the ongoing citizen education the academy offers.”  

Sheriff  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.  

 

 

Feb 24

WCSO Citizens’ Academy Applications Due Feb. 27

Sheriff's Citizens' Academy 2014 classes

Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy 2014 classes

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Reminder: Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Citizens’ Academy Applications Due Soon

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like being inside or operating a jail, trying to decide whether to shoot or safely disarm a criminal suspect, how to be a dispatcher or just wanted to find out what it’s like to work for the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, the Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy is the place for you. The WCSO will be taking applications through Feb. 27 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 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.

“This class helps to foster a better understanding between the citizens and the Sheriff’s Office,” said Wilson County Sheriff’s Sgt. James Lanier. “It familiarizes the citizens with how the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office operates. This course shows how different the Sheriff’s Office is from the other law enforcement offices in Wilson County, how much more responsibility the Office has compared to other agencies.”

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.

“The Citizen’s Sheriff’s Academy provides a unique interactive look at the scope of our county’s law enforcement,” said Sam Shallenberger, a graduate of the Citizen’s Sheriff’s Academy and President of the Academy’s Alumni Association. “I came away from the experience with the impression that the Sheriff’s Office is like an iceberg, with only a portion visible to the general public.  Sgt. Lanier established the Alumni Association so that graduates can continue to contribute and support the ongoing citizen education the academy offers.”

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 fourth class is limited to 25 citizens. To apply, contact Elizabeth Anderson at wcso95.org or call at 615-444-1412, ext. 255.

 

 

Feb 05

WCSO Arrest Two for Alleged Meth Sales, Manufacturing

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Two for Alleged Meth Sales, Manufacturing Two Carthage residents have been arrested and are being held at the Wilson County Correction Facility for allegedly making and selling methamphetamines. A concerned citizen notified Wilson County Deputy Matt Bush of suspicious activity surrounding two individuals sitting in a 2000 Nissan Frontier truck sitting in a field off the roadway in the 9000 block of Bluebird Road in Lebanon on Jan. 30. Upon responding to the information, Deputy Bush saw a man and woman sitting in the car matching the description the citizen reported. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Richard Scott Stewart, 44, of 115 Hilltop Dr., Carthage, Tennessee. His passenger was 32-year-old Desarae  Starlett Arnold of 121 Langford Dr. Carthage, Tennessee. Upon further investigation, Deputy Bush spotted numerous items inside the bed of the truck, including  chemicals, drugs, drug ingredients, and apparatus that are consistent with the manufacturing and promotion of methamphetamine. Inside the cab of the truck, Deputy Bush saw the pair with methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia to include scales, smoke pipe baggies, and syringes. Deputy Bush immediately summoned Wilson County Deputy Jason Anderson, a certified Clandestine Lab Technician to the scene. Deputy Anderson determined that a methamphetamine cook had recently occurred and there was potential for a future meth cook based on the items located within the truck. Deputy Anderson cleared the scene of all harmful chemicals and items that could cause harm to the public, along with protecting the environment from exposure that could affect livestock and other wildlife within the area.   Wilson County Sheriff’s Office obtained warrants and arrested the pair for promotion of methamphetamine, possession of Schedule II methamphetamine for resale, and drug paraphernalia.   “The methamphetamine situation in Wilson County continues to escalate,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “I have taken substantial steps to deter this rising problem. We are fortunate to have a part-time training officer who was previously assigned to the DEA and has vast knowledge related to methamphetamine.”   Sheriff Bryan described the training officer, who asked not to be identified, as “doing a tremendous job with educating our deputies on the hazards of methamphetamine and how it affects our community.”   “This is apparent by the observations and actions both Deputy’s Bush and Anderson took in resolving this current situation to prevent any further exposure to the community. We have a specific ongoing process here at the Sheriff’s Office where we are in the process of training additional clandestine lab technicians in an effort to effectively handle the methamphetamine problem and limit the effects on our community.”

Jan 08

Wilson County Sheriff’s Officers Find Meth Labs

Wilson County Sheriff’s Officers found and secured two methamphetamine lab cooking sites at a Wilson County business after receiving a tip from an employee at Roadrunner Transportation on January 6.

Upon arrival at the scene at 135 Maddox Drive, Deputies Sgt. Kyle Wright, Mike Warren, and Chris Brandenburg found two separate locations where methamphetamine had been cooked. The deputies secured the area and called methamphetamine lab technicians to quarantine the property in accordance with Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation state laws.

Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jeremy Reich, a member of the Tennessee Methamphetamine & Pharmaceutical Task Force, was originally called to the scene. Detective Reich asked Mike Justice, Director of Lebanon Public Safety, for assistance. Director Justice then dispatched a clandestine lab team to assist with the proper retrieval and disposal of a hazardous materials and chemicals. Director Justice’s team and W.E.M.A. were instrumental in ensuring all precautions and safety requirements were taken to prevent further exposure as required by state law. The property remains under quarantine. Detective Reich is continuing the investigation and upon completion will present all evidence pertaining to this case to the Wilson County Grand Jury for potential indictments related to narcotics.

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan has been extremely proactive in his approach to the ever-growing and dangerous occurrences relating to Methamphetamine. Sheriff Bryan has been instrumental in assisting with developing a joint Wilson County Methamphetamine Task Force and has recently assigned several members of the Sheriff’s Department to this team. This is a multi-agency team, which was recently formed, includes the Lebanon Police Department and WEMA,

“We are proud of this new task force and appreciate the collaboration all of our county agencies have provided to combat this growing problem,” Sheriff Bryan said. “The team was very effective and professional.”