Occupation: Chief deputy, Blount County Sheriff’s Office.
Family: Single, one son, Tony Dunn.
Ron Dunn has been in law enforcement 30 and a half years. He is quick to credit retired Maryville Police Chief Don Boring for leading him into that career.
“Chief Boring… what an influence he was on me. I grew up four houses down the street, and I watched and admired him. His twins were my age, and it was nothing for me to be there or for them to be at my house,” he says. “That is the big thing that got me into law enforcement - seeing him and admiring how he held and carried himself. He is a true, true gentleman.”
Dunn’s career started at the Blount County Sheriff’s Office from 1980 to 1985. He was with the City of Maryville Police Department from 1985 to 1996 before he returned to the sheriff’s office and has remained there since then.
Dunn said he has never regretted pursuing law enforcement. “There were other opportunities and places you could make more money, but I have had a blast. You get a job you like, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” he says. “It has been stressful and tough at time, but the rewards far outweigh the downside.”
The chief said Blount County has always been home to him. “It is where I grew up, where my family is and where my roots are,” he says. “I joined the Air Force after high school, and I had the opportunity to live in Myrtle Beach and couldn’t wait to get back to the mountains and what was normal to me.”
Dunn said when he and Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp started Shop with a Cop, they wanted to help the less fortunate, but they also wanted to show children police officers weren’t the bad guys. “We were always the bad guys. Their parents would tell them, ‘If you don’t buckle up or go to school, he will take you to jail,’ so we were combating a negative image. It was all about building relationships with those kids.”
Here is Chief Deputy Ron Dunn:
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“I love to watch ‘Andy Griffith’ and when Goober says, ‘Surprise, surprise, surprise.’ Life is full of surprises, and that is something I think about a lot.”
What are you guilty of?
“I guess being a workaholic.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“That would have to be my old dog, ‘Duff.’ He’s a boxer rescue dog one of my officers got out of a dog fight a year ago, and they had him the kennel at the office. I got to seeing him everyday and brought him home on Dec. 23. He has turned out to be one of the best companions I could find.”
What are you reading currently?
“It would be something work related, like industry periodicals.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“Probably a few years ago when the power went out at the Justice Center. When the power came back on, my computer didn’t come back on. I fooled and fooled with it and called technology. He looked at me and said, ‘All you have to do is turn it back on.’ I’m almost a technological illiterate.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“They’re all travel-related. I would love to see Alaska. I’d like to take a motor home and go to the New England states, and I would like to take a motor home to the West and mid-west. I joined the Air Force to see the world and didn’t go anywhere but Myrtle Beach.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Busy. I’m one of those people who are always on the go and don’t slow down to enjoy finer things in life.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“Slow down and pay attention to detail. I’m the world’s worst of wanting the short version of everything and moving on when I should be paying attention to detail and what going on around me.”
What is your passion?
“My job, this community and what I do. It’s the only thing I know.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My dad, Ed Dunn. Dad died about 12 years ago. I’d love to sit down and talk to him. Everyday he’s gone, he’s a smarter man in my eyes.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“The only thing comes to mind was in 1965. We got our first color television set. We got in Christmas of 1965.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Wear clean underwear. You never know what is going to happen to you when you leave home.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“Coach Lynn Brown at Maryville High School. As a kid, I was wild and crazy, and he was stabilizer. He coached me at the middle school for three years, and when I graduated, he moved onto the high school. I spent six year with him, and he was like a father-figure. When I went to FBI National Academy in 1995, I wrote a paper about him and his influence on me.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“I can’t say I’ve had a bad job. The only thing I’ve ever done is law enforcement, and there’s nothing bad I could say about it. Other than working narcotics, I’ve done about everything there is in law enforcement, and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
“I loved the ‘Road Runner.’”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“Rather than one place, I think one thing everyone should experience is Leadership Blount. It is such an educational opportunity. I grew up here, yet I learned so much about this community.”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“I don’t know I would change anything. I’ve had fun and enjoyed it and made a decent living. I’ve got an officer who says, ‘Everyday is a holiday, and every meal a feast,’ and I agree. Life has been good to me.”
What is your greatest fear?
“Water. I can swim but I am scared to death of large bodies of water, I would never fly across the ocean.”
I still can’t quite get the hang of…
“Technology. It is far beyond my ability to grasp. Retired Chief Archie Garner said, ‘You boys will see computers in your cars,’ and I thought he was crazy.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, what would it be?
“After I retire, I’ll just take off and travel and go.”