MARYVILLE (WATE) – As Americans come together to mourn the five police officers killed during a Dallas protest, law enforcement in East Tennessee say they’re shocked, confused, sad, and heartbroken. Many officers say this is more than just a job, law enforcement is a family no matter which state you live in.
A simple prayer is sitting on the desk of Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider which reads, ‘Lord I ask for your courage, courage to face and conquer my own fears…courage to take me where others may not go…and please, Lord, through it all be at my side.”
On Friday so many who put on a badge are trying to find the right words. “When an officer falls we all feel it,” said Deputy Chief Tom Spangler with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers said role call at Blount County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t the same after the shooting in Dallas that killed five. “A lot of talk, and that talk being not sure what to expect next,” said Deputy Chief Spangler.
One thing is weighing on each officer’s mind no matter which precinct they work for: the families of the fallen in Dallas.
“When they start getting ready for their shift, they start going through a mental process. They’re basically preparing themselves for that day because you don’t know. The last thing you want to do, the last thing you want to do is kiss your family goodbye for the last time,” said Captain David Carswell with the Alcoa Police Department.
“There’s no question this is the most dangerous times of our era. It’s incredibly difficult to be a police officer today,” added Sheriff Guider.
Officers in East Tennessee say they’ll continue today and tomorrow protecting and serving. “We feel their hurt. We will for a long time and it’ll be something that won’t be forgotten,” added Deputy Chief Spangler.
Knox County Sheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones said, “Our community support sets us apart from many other places. The issues that arose in Baton Rouge and a suburb of St. Paul have not occurred here. Law enforcement here has a good working relationship with the residents and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office will continue to make sure that Knox County is a safe place to live for all of our citizens.”
Continuing coverage: Dallas Police Killings
Several departments in East Tennessee are also taking to social media to show solidarity with the Dallas Police Department.