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Press Release

HCSO Chief of Staff and Public Relations Personnel Receive Commendations


Hamilton County, TN – Earlier this morning, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond and Sheriff-Elect Austin Garrett presented commendations to Chief of Staff Gino Bennett, Public Relations Manager J. Matt Lea, and Public Information Officers’ Rachel Frizzell and Brad Hartman for their efforts to create the HCSO’s 200th Anniversary Commemorative Book.

Whereas, in the fall of 2017, the decision was made by Sheriff Jim Hammond to commission the creation of a new agency history book to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, which would occur in October 2019. The last official agency history book was produced in 1991 during the term of Sheriff H.Q. Evatt, Chief Deputy Jim Hammond, and Gino Bennett.

At first, the challenge of creating a new bicentennial history book for this agency seemed daunting simply due to the vast amount of information, research, review of historical records, and writing that would be necessary to document our agency’s 200-year history. The task would require individuals who not only appreciate history and research, but would be capable of blending professional photography and journalism in a manner that would accurately tell the HCSO story.

To accomplish this, Sheriff Jim Hammond and Chief of Staff Gino Bennett called upon the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Public Relations Office to begin this lengthy, arduous process.

For the next two years, Public Relations Office staff, under the direction of Public Relations Manager Matt Lea, worked tirelessly researching historical documents, some of which dated back to 1819, as well as taking thousands of photographs of our agency’s people and operations to journalistically document HCSO’s rich history.

Throughout the process, HCSO Public Information Officers’ Rachel Frizzell and Brad Hartman were responsible for much of the book’s day-to-day work, including photographing agency assets and operations, research, and data compilation. Working as a team, Matt, Rachel, Brad, and the book’s Editor-in-Chief, Gino Bennett, spent thousands of hours completing the 200th-anniversary book, which was finished by the spring of 2020. Unfortunately, some of the book’s progress was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,

The completed HCSO 200th Anniversary Commemorative History Book has been a tremendous success. It contains over 460 pages of beautiful photographs, articles, and information detailing the rich and noble history of the men and women of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

“The two years of effort put into the creation of our 200th Anniversary Commemorative Book took tremendous dedication and effort by our public relations personnel. The attention to detail and the professionalism they showed throughout the process has led to the beautiful, historic book we now so proudly admire,” stated Sheriff Jim Hammond.

Please join us as we recognize the thousands of hours or work and researched dedicated by these individuals in order to ensure the 200th Anniversary Commemorative Book was completed.

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Phone: (423) 209-7000