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Rocky Top council recognizes retiring Police Chief Shetterly

Retiring Rocky Top Chief of Police Jim Shetterly is presented a plaque by Mayor Kerry Templin honoring Shetterly’s nearly 37 years of service to the city, during last week’s City Council meeting. Shetterly is retiring as of Friday, Sept. 29. (photo:G Chambers Williams III )
The Rocky Top City Council had high praise last week for Chief of Police James “Jim” Shetterly, who will retire as of Friday (Sept. 29) after nearly 37 years with the Police Department, the last 31 as chief.

A resolution passed unanimously by the council said, in part:

“The Mayor and Council wish to publicly commend and express appreciation to Police Chief James Shetterly Jr. for his more than 36 years of dedicated, loyal and committed service to the City of Rocky Top and call upon all residents to acknowledge and reflect upon the many contributions to our community by James Shetterly Jr. and wish him good health, happiness and a long life during his retirement, as well as to extend appreciation to his wife and family who shared this fine man with the City of Rocky Top for more than 36 years.”

Shetterly was joined at the meeting by his wife, Pam.

Also in attendance was the new police chief, John Thomas, whose first day on the job was the day of the council meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 19.

The council normally meets on the third Thursday of each month, but the meeting was held two days earlier because of a “scheduling conflict” for the regular date, which would have been Sept. 21, the city recorder said in an email.

Thomas, who lives in Knoxville now, was a detective with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office before taking the Rocky Top job.

He said he also has served with the Oak Ridge and Clinton police departments, and has worked in a contract position for the U.S. State Department.

Shetterly joined the then-Lake City Police Department in fall 1986 as a dispatcher, then became a patrolman and assistant chief. He moved into the chief’s position in 1992.

He and his wife will continue to live in Rocky Top, he said.

In other business last week, the City Council:

• Passed on first reading a new ordinance setting out strict terms for approval of fundraising “roadblocks” that have normally been used by nonprofit organizations such as volunteer fire departments and churches.

The new ordinance, if passed on second reading during the October council meeting, will restrict those roadblocks to nonprofit organizations, and limit them to no more than two applications a year.

This change came about because the council, on a 4-1 vote, put aside its usual policy last month and authorized a roadblock fundraising event to benefit a private citizen who had sustained losses in a home fire.

There was discussion at the time that it might not be a good idea to set a precedent like that, since in the past the roadblocks were used only for bonafide charitable organizations with IRS 501(c)(3) designations.

The new ordinance applies to roadblocks, as well as to parades, foot and bicycle races, and similar events.

• Announced that the city’s annual fall cleanup event will be held during October. During the month, there will be special trash pickups throughout the city for discarded items that normally would not be allowed to be put out on regular trash days.

• Heard a report that the city bought 9.7 million gallons of water from the Anderson County Water Authority during August, but treated more than 17 million gallons of wastewater at the city’s sewage treatment plant.

That means that about eight million gallons of stormwater likely was picked up by the sewer system through leaks.

Rocky Top is currently working with more than $2 million in grants to try to stop the inflow and infiltration of stormwater into the sewer system, to help keep from overtaxing the sewage treatment facilities.