Blount Today introduces crime prevention column

Beginning today, Blount Today will have a monthly column focusing on crime prevention, safety and security at home and in the community. Sgt. Jason Barham is writing today’s column. Officers from other departments also may serve as contributing columnists in the future.

Barham and his wife, Jessica, have three children, Bailey, 8, Caroline, 5 and Allie, 2. Barham, started with Maryville Police Department when he was 21 and has been with the department 11 years.

Barham said he chose a career in law enforcement because he wanted to serve. “I guess I always wanted to make a difference,” he said. “I had an older brother, watching him go through the process of becoming a law enforcement officer inspired me to do the same thing. John is a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now.”

Barham said when he first started with the department; he worked Patrol Division and worked day shift, night shift or evenings. After he had been with the department four years he got the opportunity to go into the Community Policing Unit, and he’s been there for about eight years.

“We are charged with promoting crime prevention and safety education with an emphasis on stopping crime before it happens. That is what our unit is focused on trying to do,” he said.

Barham said he also speaks to groups and individuals about crime prevention and teaches a Rape Aggression Defense Court for women and an AARP drivers’ safety program.

“I guess main thing is to try to offer people safety tips to better secure their homes and their overall personal safety,” he said.

Often people get into their daily routines and that doesn’t include doing things that can make them safer. When people begin to incorporate new habits into their routine they make themselves less apt to be a victim of a crime, he said.

Barham said police officers’ goal is simple, making the community a safe place for people to live, work and raise a family. “We’re all working for same common goal,” he said.

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