‘Crime’ topic at Chamber breakfast

The Farragut area community heard how crime is affecting the Town and how people can make it safer at Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce’s Breakfast Series.

The breakfast, which took place Tuesday, March 22, in Fox Den Country Club at 12284 N. Fox Den Drive, Farragut, featured a panel consisting of Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Mike Hammond, Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen and Lee Tramel, assistant chief deputy of administration with Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

Since last year, vehicles in Farragut have been targeted by thefts. Tramel said those thefts are drug related. Even though prescription drug abuse has decreased, heroine use is on the horizon.

Farragut Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche said the breakfast series was excellent.

“The community needs to be informed about the epidemic of opiates in the area and all over the country,” She said. “If we think it’s not in Farragut, we are not believing the truth. It is in Farragut.”

“It was very interesting,” Jenna Massa, Chamber member and Morning Pointe community relations director, said about the series. “I didn’t realize there was that much crime going on in this area. It’s a great educational piece they brought, a great awareness.”

“There was a lot of information I hadn’t had, as far as statistics and programs they are working on to reduce those [crime] numbers,” Dennis Hatcher, Simmons Bank, said.

“They did a good job,” Tim Williams, Chamber chairman with Matlock Tire, said. “People need to realize [crime] is in this county.”

One of the measures Knox County Sheriff’s Office has taken is the use of the Crime Map icon, which is on the Sheriff’s Office website.

“It shows what crime is happening in an area,” Tramel said. This allows people to be aware of what is going on in their community and to give tips to the sheriff’s office if they see something suspicious.

“Law enforcement can’t be successful without your help,” he said.

“The media does play a part in what we do,” Allen said. “The media wants to keep people informed. We do have a wonderful relationship with local media.”

Another subject panelists discussed was the potential of opening a safety center in Knoxville that would address persons with mental illnesses, who would be diverted to the center and away from the county jail.

“A safety center has been talked about for a few months now,” Tramel said. “It sounds so simple when you see someone in the throws of psychosis. It sounds so simple to put him in a safety center but there are a lot of pieces to it.”