Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan reflected on the recent deaths of law enforcement officers in the cities of Dallas and Baton Rouge during his monthly report to the Wilson County Commission on Monday night.
In the past few weeks a total of eight police officers have been murdered by gunmen.
Five officers were fatally wounded in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 7, during what started as a peaceful protest in reaction to the officer-involved shootings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana. The gunman, later identified as Micah Johnson, ambushed the group.
In Baton Rouge this past weekend, three more officers were killed in an attack by Gavin E. Long.
"Everybody knows what is going on in this country right now," Bryan began.
Bryan said that following the shootings, they received a number of thank you cards, and appreciation - even at traffic stops - from the community.
"There are people out there who care what we do. It is going to take our country coming together," he said.
Bryan admitted that "there have been some questionable incidences" involving law enforcement in this country; however, he said there is a majority of good, devoted officers who simply wish to do their jobs.
"I've had young officers come up to me about what is going on. It is in the back of their minds what could happen here," she said.
The last week was hard on the Sheriff's Department - not only because of what is happening across the nation - but because of the loss of a teen due to drowning.
Bryan commended Wilson Emergency Management, the Hendersonville Fire Department and Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency for their involvement in the search of a 17-year-old male who went missing after jumping into Old Hickory Lake.
Bryan and WEMA Director Joey Cooper said that typically a search operation takes about 3 days. However, due to the agencies working together they were able to locate the deceased within 16 hours.
"If anybody loses their life it is hard. This was a 17-year-old boy," Bryan said. "I appreciate all the hard work. It is unfortunate that it turned out the way it did."