published Friday, November 9th, 2012

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond holds second foundation luncheon

  • photo
    Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond interacts with guest speaker David Browning dressed as "Barney Fife" during the 2012 Sheriff's Law Enforcement Foundation annual luncheon held at The Chattanoogan hotel early Thursday afternoon.
    Photo by Dan Henry.
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Corporate sponsors for the Sheriff's Foundation luncheon:

* Ronald Barnes

* Base Nine Inc., Carey Brown

* Capital Toyota, Bob McKamey

* Coker Tire, Corkey Coker

* Double Cola Co., Alnoor Dhanani

* ERMC, Emerson Russell

* Card Monroe, Lewis Card

* Jepco Mini Storage, Joe and Shirley Proctor

* Luken Holdings, Henry Luken

* Miller Industries, Miller Family Foundation

* Gordon P. and Susan C. Street

* Republic Center, Jim Berry

* U.S. Xpress, John White

* Walden Security, Mike Walden

In a packed banquet room, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond spoke of the need to help area law enforcement with increasing demands to keep the public safe.

"We simply can't depend on the tax dollars to get it [better technology]," Hammond said, speaking at the luncheon for the Sheriff's Foundation. "Some of it we're required to have. Some of it we would love to have so we simply can't depend on the tax dollars to get it."

Thursday's banquet was the second such event for the foundation, which launched last year after several years of planning.

"Chattanooga has reached the size that it's certainly capable of supporting a law enforcement foundation," Hammond said.

The foundation's goal is to raise money to help area departments foot the bill for technology needed on the job, provide leadership training to officers and foster community programs with departments.

Hammond said it could take three to five years to raise a few million dollars before any money is spent on programs. He hopes to find someone to help with corporate fundraising.

"We expect this to be a two- or three-year process to get us to a level where we can take advantage of the funding," he said.

David Browning, who performs a comedy routine as Barney Fife, the famous Mayberry deputy, was guest speaker for the event.

He made comparisons to Fife, who played a bumbling deputy on "The Andy Griffith Show," drawing comparisons to present-day law enforcement.

"He was trying constantly to better himself," Browning told the crowd. "He was always interested in learning the next step and learning more."

Lookout Mountain Police Chief Randy Bowden said he's hopeful the foundation will help smaller agencies like his when it comes to technology and training.

"Hopefully it will be a good thing in the future," he said.

The $10,000 luncheon was paid for by 15 sponsors. More than half contributed money toward Hammond's campaign and at least half hold Posse or Commission cards issued by Hammond's department. While the Posse cards are mainly symbolic, Commission cards -- which were held by one of the sponsors -- gives the individual arrest powers.

Hammond said support for the foundation's goals is growing.

"We ran out of tables. It was too small. We'll have to find a bigger place next year," Hammond said.

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