6—Herald Chronicle, 2018 Leadership Franklin County
ith the New Year already ushered in, Franklin County’s
Chamber of Commerce Leadership program got back
into session on Jan. 10 with a visit to the county’s judi-
cial area with stops at Franklin County’s Emergency Management
Center, the Jail and the Judicial Center.
The day offered students the chance to see firsthand how the
county deals with emergences and upholds the law, in turn mak-
ing Franklin County a safe place to live. Unlike previous tours of
the area, this required walking due to the separate buildings on
George Fraley Parkway.
The morning started off at the Tennessee National Guard
Armory for a briefing of the day’s plans and a talk by Sgt. Maj.
Adam Davis on what goes on at the building for members of the
Davis explained to the class that what people knew about the
Guard’s duties in the past are gone. The National Guard is com-
pletely different. The base is an operational force that is at the
president’s disposal if need be.
After a little bit of breakfast and talk from a couple of National
Guard officers, the group embarked on a short walk to “the bun-
ker,” also known as the Franklin County Emergency Management
center that used to house General Sessions Court.
EMA Director Scott Smith, who is also the director for 911 in
Franklin County, gave the class a tour of the place where all the
emergency calls go and are directed to first responders to handle
all the emergencies in Franklin County. The bunker provides the
perfect place for the county to manage crises that happen and
maintain open communications in case of a disaster.
The next stop on the tour was a walk to the County Jail, oper-
ated by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Public Information
Officer Sgt. Chris Guess talked about the jail’s role in society and
how inmates are booked and processed. He also showed how they
deal with people who are unruly when being booked.
One of the favorite parts of the tour was going up in a tower
that controls everything in the jail and seeing how the inmates
occupy their time. One of the inmates played a fake baseball game
for himself. It remains to be determined if he won the matchup.
After the tour of the Jail, the class headed back to the National
Guard Armory for a chat with 12
Judicial District Attorney Mike
Taylor. He oversees all the cases prosecuted for six counties in
Taylor told the Leadership program he would like to think
after all these years, he has done the right things and brought
justice for his district.
Taylor went on to explain a lot of cases don’t get settled for a
while because of a backlog and not enough judges to efficiently
hear them. They try to get through them as best as possible, con-
sidering the circumstances, he added.
The group refreshed with lunch provided by the Franklin
County Chamber of Commerce and viewed military weapons that
the National Guard would use if called into battle.
Before the group headed over to the Judicial Center, Josh
Hunt, game warden with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agen-
cy, talked about his job of protecting Franklin County’s wildlife
and looking for lost hikers.
The last stop for the day was a tour of the Judicial Center
where all court cases in the county get
heard. The class got to view a General
Sessions Court seizure of money for a
drug case. Judge Tom Faris took time to
explain that the particular court is the
starting point for many cases, starting
with speeding tickets and extending to
Faris explained how he got started as
a judge and the schooling required to be-
Circuit Court Clerk Robert Baggett
explained how his office organizes all the
court dockets that come through each
year and how he manages all of it. He
credits his staff for helping with the load
that comes through the Judicial Center.
Baggett handed out a $10 bill for one
lucky individual in the class if they could
answer what judicial district Franklin
County is in.
Sheriff Tim Fuller spoke about all the
responsibilities that he has as a law en-
forcement leader. The four main issues he
described were running the jail, handling
criminal and civil warrants, providing se-
curity for the courts and ensuring public
safety for civilians daily.
The last area of the center was a very
unique one, a visit to Chancery Court.
This court deals with civil cases and
equity. Chancellor Jeffery F. Stewart gave
the class a history lesson on how Chan-
cery Court came to be.
Franklin County Sher-
iff’s Sgt. Chris Guess
demonstrates what hap-
pens when someone is
being unruly when be-
ing processed. Siting in
the chair for the demon-
stration is Ashlee Chris-
—Staff Photo by