Republican Tom Spangler, Knox County Sheriff’s candidate, has 30 years experience with KCSO, rising to assistant chief of operations and chief deputy under the previous two sheriffs — while also serving as interim sheriff in 2007.
In 2009, he went to Blount County Sheriff’s Office — then resigned in 2016 to dedicate time to his campaign.
Spangler, who recently spoke to Concord-Farragut Republican Club members during their meeting in KCSO West Precinct, said there are two issues the next sheriff will have to face in the Farragut and Turkey Creek area — retail crime and the opioid epidemic.
“We all know the opioid epidemic is going on right now,” he said. “That is something we are going to have to address in law enforcement and we will.
“I think [the biggest crime] in the Turkey Creek area, and probably the Farragut area, is obviously going to be retail crime,” Spangler added. “The Turkey Creek area, obviously, is a large retail store area, and with the Retail Task Force they have with the [KCSO], I think it needs to continue, and if nothing else, it needs to continue around the clock, not just certain times of the year.”
“You need to look at [the fact that] crime doesn’t stop during Christmas. After Christmas, you have to look at staffing. ... Things just don’t slow down [after peak seasons]. You still have the potential for that theft going on there.”
As for specifics, Spangler said, “You can move people around, and that’s some of the things we want to at least look at and see if that’s something we can do to make that Task Force to where it’s continuous all the time. That Task Force needs to be able to have that ability.
“I want to look at putting more people into that unit,” he added.
Spangler said he agreed with the Sheriff’s Office’s reaching out and “working with the Theft Prevention people with all the local retailers.”
He attributes a high percentage of retail crimes to the opioid epidemic. “I worked narcotics for years,” Spangler said. “Obviously, part of the problem is going to be associated with some type of narcotics.
“I have a knowledge of how and what to do, and I worked in Metro Organized Crime for two years, and also ran the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit,” he added.
Spangler is a Carter High School graduate who spent three years in the U.S. Air Force in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Before his discharge, he spent 16 weeks in Florida State Police Academy and cross-trained as a security police official.
Knox County Republicans will choose their candidate for sheriff in less than three months: county primary voters, also including Democrats, go to the polls May 1.