COCKE COUNTY—Chris Barnes was born in Knox County, Tennessee in 1969 and graduated Gatlinburg-Pittman High School in 1987, but attended Walters State Community College before graduation. Barnes also enrolled at the University of Tennessee and received a scholarship in Medical Technology, studying Pre-medical curriculum and continued at UTK part-time until 1993. During this time, Chris was employed at the City of Sevierville Parks and Recreation Department as a Security Officer.
In the 1990s, Barnes worked for the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office in Corrections, later moving to Nashville to work at Trans-Cor as an Extradition Agent. During his employment at Trans-Cor, Barnes worked in the western and mid-west United States and was promoted twice to OIC and then Corporal. Barnes returned to East Tennessee to work for the Department of Children’s Service and attended the corrections academy in Tullahoma graduating with honors.
In the 2000s, Barnes began working part-time at the City of Sevierville Parks Department and enrolled at East Tennessee State University in Education, (Emphasis Special Education – Adult Education) and was on the Dean’s List during 2000-2001 academic terms. At this time Barnes joined the Sevierville Police Department as a Reserve Police Officer.
In 2004 Barnes joined the Pittman Center Police Department and worked there until 2014. While at Pittman Center, Barnes was promoted to Lieutenant and was tasked with being the General Departmental Instructor, Patrol Supervisor, and TIBRs Officer. At Pittman, Barnes received commendations for life saving and valor from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Barnes Graduated Cleveland State BLETA in 2006. In 2008, Barnes graduated Walters State Community College (Associate of Arts General Studies) and went on to do numerous Law Enforcement Continuing Education courses live and online with FLETC, FBI-LEEDA, West Virginia University (Forensic Science Initiative), Department of Homeland Security, and Texas A&M. Barnes was active with the Governor’s Highway Safety Office maintaining grants and doing instruction.
In 2014 Barnes joined the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office moving from Corrections, to Bailiff, and Patrol (Supervisor and Criminal Investigations) ultimately promoted to Administrative Lieutenant tasked with Training and Evidence.
Barnes enrolled at Summit Bible College in Chaplaincy, completing his Bachelor of Science requirements cum laude. During his employment with CCSO, Barnes has attended training through UT LEIC, THSO, and Texas A&M. In 2020, he graduated Excelsior College with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts with a 4.0 GPA.
In addition to his duties with the CCSO, Barnes works as an adjunct instructor at Walters State Community College’s Regional Academy as a Domestic Violence Instructor. Barnes plans to continue to build skills to serve the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office through continuing L.E. education and personal development by re-enrolling at Summit to complete M. DIV and PhD curriculum.
This is part one of an ongoing series that hopes to familiarize members of the community with the individuals who protect them each day. Look for more information in a future edition of The Newport Plain Talk.