WCSO Sheriff Robert Bryan welcomed Class #7 of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Citizens Academy for its first of 12 classes Tues night at the WCSO Office in Lebanon. Students will get an up-close view and hands-on training behind the scenes of the inner workings of the WCSO and the jail. During their tenure, they will have a bit of fun in addition to learning what it’s like working as deputies on the streets, overseeing the jail and what it’s like to be the lifeline between communications officers and deputies in the field. They had an impromptu birthday celebration and met with the Sheriff’s Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association in addition to hearing the Sheriff’s overview of the class and meet some of the instructors.
Police Benevolent Society (PBA)President Lt. James Lanier with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office presented a check on behalf of PBA to help with expenses following the tragic accidental drowning death of Caleb Long, 1, son of WCSO Deputy Mike Long and Mt Juliet PD Communications Officer Kinnie Long. Lt. Lanier made the special presentation during the WCSO Sheriff’s Citizens’ Police Academy meeting Monday night in Lebanon. The check will go to the fund established under Wilson Bank and Trust for all donations to help the family under the name Caleb Long Benefit Fund. The toddler accidentally drowned on July 25. The family has three other children, Kelly, Devin and Austin Long.
REMINDER: The benefit ride is this Saturday! Please join us to help support our Ride for Deputy Earl Dyer on Saturday, Sept.10, at the Wilson County Fairgrounds sponsored by the Lebanon Chapter of the “Roughnecks.” The benefit motorcycle ride begins at 11 a.m. with registration at 9 a.m. Everyone is invited to participate whether you ride or not. Following a scenic ride around Wilson County, there will be a DJ, silent auction and raffle. Lunch is also available. All ride and BBQ lunch proceeds go to help Deputy Dyer during his time suffering from a difficult medical condition that keeps him from being able to support his family. Donations are greatly appreciated! For more info, call Rob Bates at 615-210-9570 or Ken Thomas at 615-730-5202. Come join us!
WCSO to Increase Patrol on Land and Water through Labor Day Weekend
The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office will conduct saturation patrols in addition to increased coverage on Old Hickory Lake this holiday weekend. Deputies and the Boat Patrol will concentrate enforcement efforts on impaired drivers to try to prevent a tragedy from occurring over the Labor Day holiday. These overtime patrols are funded through a grant from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office.
The Labor Day holiday officially begins Friday and runs through Monday. Sheriff’s patrols will be on the lookout for drivers that violate any traffic laws including impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding or not wearing a seat belt.
“I cannot stress enough that we want you to enjoy time with your friends and families during this special summer holiday, but please don’t drink and drive,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “When you are impaired from alcohol, some prescription medications or illegal drugs, you may not realize you cannot safely drive a car or boat. Plan ahead. Have a designated driver in case you need one to get home safely. Let’s do our part to keep everyone safe out there this weekend. Thank you!”
WCSO’s Lt. Robert Curtis has retired his 9-year-old K-9 partner, a Belgian Malinois named “Rocky,” who was responsible for recovering millions of dollars in cash and illegal narcotics in addition to a number of felony arrests. He retires as one of the most highly decorated dogs in Tennessee.
Sgt. Curtis said it was a difficult decision because he was such an exceptional dog. “Rocky and I have been together since 2008,” he said. “We started training when he was only nine months old, but I knew right away Ole Rock was going to be something special.”
“Special” was an understatement for the K-9 who along with his handler Lt. Curtis 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 in 2015. Lt. Curtis and Rocky initially won the Jimmy D. Anderson award in 2012 after winning 2nd overall, 1st in Criminal Apprehension and 2nd in Obedience. In 2011 Lt. Curtis and Rocky also won 2nd in Criminal Apprehension.
Lt. Curtis said Rocky has had four felony 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 in addition to performing numerous demonstrations to educate young people and adults alike about how K-9 teams work. “Rocky has an unbelievable desire to please with a huge drive to work. It’s been a great pleasure to work with a partner like Rocky. He’s a one of a kind dog.”
Almost two years ago, Lt. Curtis said he doubted he could work with another dog after racking up one of the highest awards in the state for a K-9 team. At that time, he said “I really can’t see myself working another K-9 after being with such an exceptional dog for so long. He knows what to do and what I’m thinking sometimes before I do.” But he has begun training with a new dog. “It’s gonna be tough the first time I go to work with my new partner K-9 Molly, but Rocky will have a well deserved laid-back retired life with me.”
“This Office has been extremely lucky and we are proud to have had 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 had and will continue to have a superior K-9 partnership working for them.”
WCSO SRO Lt. Scott Moore speaks with CBS NEWS about Anti-Bullying classes to help students overcome peer pressure, stop bullying, building confidence and resist the pitfalls of peer pressure. This year was the first class offered and became so popular, the SRO Team ended up adding another. It’s an intensive but fun class, which Sheriff Robert Bryan plans to offer each year with SRO Lt. Moore and the WCSO SRO team improving and adding more each year.
#WCSO SRO on Twitter: “#SRO Lt.Scott Moore speaks to CBS News about the dangers of bullying https://t.co/F0OrDeyMNl via @cbsnews”
A Silver Alert has been cancelled after WCSO found the body of a missing Watertown man. Edgar Roy Elliott, 85, was found on a gravel road off Neal Road in Watertown at approximately 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. Based on the initial investigation, WCSO Sheriff Robert Bryan said it appears as if he turned over his riding lawn mower. Other details will be released at a later date.
Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and Watertown Police are searching for an 85-year-old Watertown man who daily rides his yellow Cub Cadet riding lawn mower to various locations through town. Neighbors report they have not seen him since at least Friday. He was last seen leaving his home on Neal Road, located near the Watertown High School and Statesville Road areas. Edgar Roy Elliott is often seen on the mower making stops at various locations throughout the town. His neighbors report they are concerned since they have not seen him and his lawn mower is missing. If anyone has information about him, please call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office at 615-444-1412.
Convicted Drug Dealer Sentenced to 60 Years for Selling Cocaine after 8th Felony Drug Charge
A drug dealer convicted of eight prior drug-related felonies was sentenced to 60 years in prison Monday in Wilson County Circuit Court.
James K. Woods, 35, of Lebanon, was sentenced on three charges of selling Schedule II narcotics (cocaine), two of those charges resulted in consecutive 20-year sentences with one concurrent 20-year sentence, he will serve up to 40 years in the penitentiary. The Lebanon man has a history of felony drug charges dating back to 1999 when he turned 18 years old.
Woods had previously served five years in the penitentiary for drug sales just prior to Wilson County narcotics detectives making controlled buys of over ½ gram of cocaine on three separate occasions before he was arrested on an indictment Jan. 7, 2015.
“This is the epitome of arrogance in the drug business,” Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said following the sentencing. “He apparently has not yet learned we will not tolerate selling drugs in this county without severe consequences.”
Sheriff Bryan and his detectives agreed that drug-related offenses and addictions lead to most of the crime in Wilson County even if in an indirect way. “This is a black eye in this country and a menace to our society,” Sheriff Bryan said, noting the seriousness of drug use and sales. “If you sell drugs in Wilson County, we will find you and make sure you pay the price.”
Last year, the Tennessee Department of Health determined drug overdoses in the state had surpassed the number of people killed by motor vehicle accidents and even firearms discharges in 2014. The number of drug overdoses of both street and prescription drugs have been escalating statewide for several years.
SRO Anti-Bully Camp Scores Big with Students, Parents, other Law Enforcement Agencies
The WCSO/SRO Conflict-Resolution Camp was so successful, education officials from other counties were calling Wilson County Sheriff’s Office SROs to get information to set up their own youth camps next year. This was the first ever youth camp Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan’s SRO team had ever undertaken but it won’t be the last.
Interest spiked high enough to add a second WCSO/SRO Conflict-Resolution Camp, where students were taught how to cope with bullying, peaceful conflict-resolution, dealing with peer pressure, drugs, alcohol and learning to spot online predators.
“I’m convinced this was a great success based on the reports from my SRO team, parents and students,” Sheriff Bryan said. “That says a lot when other schools want to emulate the training your SROs are offering. That’s quite a compliment, and we’re very proud of our SRO officers who participated in this program, which may provide a model for other agencies.”
SRO Lt. Scott Moore added the interest exceeded his expectations. “Response was better than I anticipated. We were a little worried if we had enough time with just a few days from the time of the camp to the start of school, getting the classes together and getting the word out that this was going to take place. This next year, we will have all year to concentrate on improving the curriculum, building upon the classes students liked and planning new classes they might enjoy.”
Interest was not a problem as the SROs found that they had to form another class in the afternoon during that week. “That’s a good problem to have,” Lt. Moore said, noting that the SROs quickly formulated a second class of 16 students for the afternoon from 1-4 p.m. following the initial morning class of 16 from 8-11 a.m. from July 25-29.
“The goal of the camp is to help our young people manage possible problems they are faced with everyday, both in and out of school,” Sheriff Robert Bryan said. “Our young people today face many more struggles and peer pressure in a more modern and dangerous world today than many of us did in school. They are confronted with so many mixed messages regarding their core values vs. bad behavior some in our culture consider acceptable.”
Lt. Moore said he asked the students to raise their hands to determine the most popular areas of instruction. He said the most popular events were a tour of the juvenile court system with Juvenile Court Judge Barry Tatum and a tour of the jail. “But we also got a lot of students telling us they enjoyed the other classes too and felt more confident going back to school this year. The parents told us how much they enjoyed it and talked about it at home. That’s what we wanted to hear.”
Eligibility requirements included any male or female with a good disciplinary school record and good attendance record who were to be in the 6th through 8th grades during the 2016-2017 school year. There was no cost to the students who ended their camp with a pizza party.
The crowning achievement was a competition for winning poster and winning essay they turned in at the end of camp. Nathan Martinez of Tuckers Crossroads School won the essay competition while Katelyn Anderson of Carroll-Oakland Schools took first place in the poster challenge.
“The word is spreading,” Lt. Moore said. “We’re getting calls from other schools in other counties who want to do what we’re doing here. I’m right now compiling information to send them.”
Note: The WCSO SRO school camp is not associated with Wilson County Schools.