LOUDON, Tenn. (WATE) — Hundreds of people lined up outside Loudon High School to remember a man who was taken too soon. They entered the school’s gym to pay their respects to Loudon County Sheriff’s Office deputy Chris Jenkins.
“It’s amazing,” Paul Adkins said of the show of support. “We weren’t sure what to expect when we came down to do our flag guard.”
Adkins and his crew with Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association rode from Morristown for Tuesday’s receiving of friends service.
“Coming down the street seeing all the people it’s not only humbling, it’s one of those things we’re thankful to this kind of support for law enforcement,” he said. “Especially with this time in the country. We live in a different part of the country.”
Adkins remarked his group is proud to support a fellow veteran like Sgt. Jenkins as well as his family. And so are Patty and Kyle Wright who called Sgt. Jenkins a neighbor for about 15 years.
“This is a really tight-knit community,” Kyle said. “They really care about their police force. The crime, they’re just really on it and Chris was a big part of that. You know, being a K-9 cop he helped all levels of the police service.
According to the Wrights and dozens of other people, Sgt. Jenkins was selfless whether in uniform or not.
“You’d call him up and help you out in an instant,” Kyle said.
Jessica Allmond taught Sgt. Jenkins’ daughter when she was in middle school and remembers how her dad was outside of work.
“He always supported her in any sport she played and I’m the cheerleading coach so I would always see him at basketball games coming in,” she said while holding back tears. “Always in the stands rooting her on, cheering her on, and being a really good supportive dad.
“I think it’s a testament to his impact on our community and I think it’s a testament to our community as a whole. I don’t have to be reminded because I love this place so much, but it’s always great to see these reminders of when one person hurts in our community everyone hurts.”
Sgt. Jenkins will be laid to rest Wednesday at the Loudon County Memorial Gardens.
“Have this family in your prayers,” Adkins said. “We all go through a loss at some time and this is their time, and they’re going to need that.”