Message from our Legislative Committee Chairman
The Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association has had a very active year in the General Assembly. The Tennessee Public Safety Coalition has proven once again strong in helping pass legislation that makes Tennessee a safer State.
This past year with strong support from Sheriffs, Chiefs of Police, Tennessee Department of Safety, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney Generals, we were able to keep drug enforcement and criminal investigation legislation in tacked and strengthened while maintaining strong penalties to criminals who need to be punished for their crimes against the Citizens of our State.
With your help and the help of our strong partners and Legislators in the General Assembly, we were able to pass a death benefit for Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty and benefits to help the family members of Law Enforcement Officers. These were complex bills that were supported by so many along with the strong support of Governor Bill Haslam.
Challenges await us in the upcoming 2019 General Assembly. We will continue to fight those bills that are left over from last year and move on to new and more pressing issues. As Sheriffs, we see every day the increasing problems of drug addiction in our State. The influx of Heroin, Fentanyl and the Opioid Crisis are issues we cannot continue to push to the back burner. One only has to turn to the State of Colorado to see the horror of unrestricted drug abuse and how the traffic deaths, healthcare cost and driving impaired cases have risen.
We can do better in Tennessee and we must! The Tennessee Sheriffs also feel the Mental Health Crisis should be addressed were we don’t just lock citizen up in county jails when the system seems to have failed so many who have not committed a crime.
The challenges are great, the works ahead will be hard, but the Sheriffs in Tennessee are up for the task.
Sheriff Tim Fuller, Franklin County