TOP PHOTO: Campbell County Sheriff Wayne Barton guest spoke at the South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon on Tuesday.
By Charlotte Underwood
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County Sheriff Wayne Barton guest spoke at the South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon on Tuesday at the LaFollette United Methodist Church.
Barton was introduced by Rotarian Larry Tanis, who gave some background information on the sheriff.
Barton is a lifelong Campbell County resident and is a Jellico High School graduate. He attended East Tennessee State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He worked for years in the Sheriff’s department over the school resource officer program, before being elected as sheriff.
Barton spoke on current efforts at the department to get deputies and officers “back out in the community.”
He said the biggest issues the county was dealing with is drugs, especially the Heroin laced with fentanyl.
“We are losing an entire generation to this drug. It is affecting parents, grandparents and children. When an individual is truly addicted you will choose that over everything,” Barton said.
He said the department’s narcotics division was working on the county’s drug problem by encouraging deputies and officers to be out in these communities.
“We are sending individuals out in plain cars to pull people over, ticket them, cite them, and if we do it enough, pretty soon the drug dealers aren’t going to have enough business, and they’re going to pack up and move. If we do that enough pretty soon they are going to be another county’s problem. It was very effective on the other side of the mountain, and we pushed them into Whitley County,” Barton said.
Barton also talked about the positive initiatives that the current governor was providing for law enforcement.
“Governor Bill Lee has been huge in introducing initiatives to help law enforcement in Campbell County. We just received $10,000 for training and hoping to get another grant for $106,000 for equipment,” Barton said. He said they were working on another grant to update computer systems and more.
Barton said he was working on trying to reinstall the ministry program back in the jail system as well.
“We are trying to make Campbell County better,” Barton said.
South Campbell County Rotary Club President David Hickman announced the Rotary Club would be hosting it’s 50th anniversary banquet on February 24. Tickets for the event will go sale next week and will be $35 per ticket. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/25/2023-6AM)