TOP PHOTO: As expected, there was a heavy law enforcement presence at Thursday night’s town hall meeting where Sheriff Robbie Goins and other members from his department and the law enforcement community gathered to address citizens’ concerns over disturbing letters left around the county at mostly churches.
JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins and his staff addressed concerns about the letters found around the county at a town hall meeting last night. The sanctuary at the First Baptist Church of Jacksboro was full of pastors and citizens seeking answers.
Sheriff Goins began addressing the crowd by saying “We have a description of the car involved with the letters due to good video from one of the churches where a letter was left.” The vehicle is described as a small gold car. Individuals began to seek out answers about the suspect. It is believed the suspect is acting alone and is an American citizen. Goins said the letters were “crazy disturbing” and appeared to be about the suspect’s beliefs and his thoughts.
Cedar Hill Baptist Church Pastor Bryan Burge (solid white shirt above) asked the sheriff “What do we say to our people about the letters?” Goins said, “If there’s a threat, we wouldn’t hold back.” He continued “I don’t want anyone to be afraid to go to church.”
Goins said the letters had been found at the Jellico Masonic Lodge, funeral homes, and Baptist churches. Letters have also been found at churches in Hamilton County and appear to be random and not targeted.
Chief Deputy Matt Wasson spoke to those in attendance about basic things churches can do for their safety. Wasson said churches should limit access in and out of the building by locking doors. They should also establish safety teams by utilizing individuals who are currently in the church. Wasson encouraged the crowd “to be a good witness” by documenting things they see and hear, remember descriptive details. Call 911 with concerns or suspicious people. Anyone who is interested in learning about a church security plan can contact the sheriff’s department for more information.
Goins told the crowd to not panic if they see law enforcement at their church, continuing there will be patrols by the sheriff’s department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol. “If there’s a threat, I’ll be the first to tell you,” said Sheriff Goins. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/24/2022-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF DAVID GRAHAM))