NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) — Over the weekend, some Cocke County residents got an unexpected visit from two members of the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office.  

They were not in trouble, the deputies were simply delivering mail. Sergeant Bryce Pickens and Deputy Rodney Hazelwood answered an unusual call that was not for a crime or an accident.

“Newport City Police Department received a call from a gentleman saying that he had some mail in his yard that did not belong to him,” Pickens said. “They arrived and called us. Most of the mail was from different residences in the county and I think two different apartment complexes.”

The two deputies collected all the mail from that yard before picking up an unexpected mail route.  

“Me and Deputy Hazelwood, which was one of the deputies on my shift,” Pickens said. “We arrived, went through quite a bit of mail and got all the addresses together. We were then able to go to all the apartments and deliver what mail we could back to the homeowners.”

(Courtesy of the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office)

The would-be postmen returned the mail to about 10-15 homes. Residents were surprised by their double duty. 

“Some of them were definitely shocked to see a deputy handing out mail of course. Everyone was grateful, of course, shocked but thankful they got their mail back,” Pickens said. 

The process of delivering that missing mail took the deputies about an hour once they tracked the addresses. They saw it as an opportunity to give back to the community.  

“One of the things we practice here is commitment to our community,” Pickens said. “I saw the mail and thought this was a way we could serve the community and just needed to get it back to who it belonged to.”

Any piece of mail they were not able to deliver was brought back to the Newport post office. We have reached out to the U.S. postal service, and they said there have been no reports of mail theft in that area.