LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – Loudon County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Chris Jenkins was killed in the line of duty on February 3rd, 2022.
He was trying to get a ladder out of the interstate when he was hit by a truck. In the days that followed, a massive outpouring of support for the fallen deputy many people gathered together to pay their respects.
Sergeant Chris Jenkins was known as a man who loved his community and who had a sense of humor. Many gathered Friday to honor him a year after his passing.
Sheriff Jimmy Davis remembers the morning of February 3rd, 2022 vividly. He was Chief Deputy at the time.
“I was gearing up, getting ready to head into work, and I got a phone call,” Davis said. “It was a rainy morning, not this cold but it was a rainy morning and there had been a crash 904 was Chris’s badge number and 904 was involved.”
Davis said Jenkins was more than a co-worker. He was a friend.
“Anyone that knew Chris knew he loved his family, his kids, this sheriff’s office,” he said.
Law enforcement from all over Tennessee came to comfort and help serve their fellow officers as they tried to comprehend the news. Several from those departments coming back today for this anniversary memorial.
Chief Deputy Zac Frye worked the night shift as patrol supervisor back then and Jenkins worked the day shift.
“His personality, his leadership skills, he’s probably one of the best leaders I’ve ever seen, Frye said. “The way he takes care of his guys, the way he’s a father, the way he was a community member, not just a police officer.”
“Every morning when Chris came in he had some sort of joke or a light-hearted way to kind of get the guys ready to work,” he added.
Both Frye and Davis say they see Jenkins in his son who is following in his father’s footsteps.
“I think everyone here would agree that there’s a little bit of Chris in Clay and we see that and it just helps keep that memory alive and we love watching Clay grow and be a part of this community,” Frye said.
“There’s nothing like working with your dad but I’m going to say here today and I know Chris would agree with me, there’s nothing like working with your son,” Davis said.
The Loudon County Sheriff’s Department says they want to continue to do memorial services like this one in Chris Jenkins honor so that he will never be forgotten.
A truck driver accused in the death of Jenkins, Christopher Savannah of Houston, Texas, has court dates set for March and May in Roane and Loudon Counties.
A second driver, Sonny Beason of Loudon County, was charged with three counts of misdemeanor reckless endangerment and driving on a suspended license after investigators said he failed to secure the ladder that fell into the roadway.
Beason has since pleaded guilty.