Community Heroes: Retired law enforcement officer reflects on 30+ years of service and community impact

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GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) He has dedicated his entire career to protecting and serving, over the span of more than 30 years and in two states: Florida and Tennessee.

Meet retired law enforcement officer, Tim Anderson, who is this week’s community hero.

“You have to treat each person individually, with respect and honor,” Tim Anderson said told News Channel 11’s Pheben Kassahun.

With 32 years of law enforcement under his belt, Tim Anderson looks back at his career. A career that challenged him physically, mentally and emotionally but none the less was fulfilling.

“I started out in patrol. I was a field training officer for most of my career. I was assigned to the Walt Disney World unit that did the tourist area around Disney and the Lake Univista area for about ten years,” Anderson said.

The now retired police officer tells me he grew up with other aspirations until a neighbor, who happened to be a police officer persuaded him into following the path to protect and serve.

“I applied to the sheriff’s office in Orlando and got hired, and the rest as they say is history,” he said.

The Florida native worked at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for 26 years. The most challenging part of his job: speaking to victims whose lives had become forever changed due to abuse.

Anderson said, “The victims. So many different type of victims and trying to comfort those that had been victimized. Especially children and those involved in domestic violence and other type of violent crimes and it was just hard at times not to get overwhelmed with emotions because of how they had been treated.”

Throughout his career, he served with honor and always tried to help people, or bring joy to their lives, sometimes even dressing up as Santa Claus in December.

He explained, “Working at Disney, you got a chance to work with some of the tourists that came to Disney and it was more dealing with people on a happier basis than people who were victims of crimes. You actually felt better about it because of the fact you felt like you were helping in making people’s lives better.”

Anderson eventually, moving to our neck of the mountains, along with his wife Penney Anderson, to become an East Tennessee State University public safety officer. Even though he retired in 2017, he still hopes to pass on advice to the next generation of law enforcement officers to ensure a long and prosperous impact on their communities:

“Each case is independent on itself. Try not to look at the facts that are right in front of you. Dig into what the person that you’re dealing with come from, how their life has affected them,” he said. “If you treat your family with dignity and honor, then treat everybody you come in contact with that same dignity and honor.”

And that is why he’s our community hero.

If you know someone who makes our community a better place to live, we want to hear from you! Nominate them to be an ABC Tri-Cities Community Hero! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

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