A country music star has joined the war on drugs in McMinn County.
According to Sheriff Joe Guy, Vince Gill recently accepted a McMinn County Sheriff's badge and took an oath of office, making him an honorary narcotics investigator at the McMinn County Sheriff's Office.
The appointment was made to increase awareness of the drug problems facing McMinn County and Southeast Tennessee.
"I spoke with Vince last year about being a part of our efforts to reduce meth labs in McMinn County and East Tennessee," said Sheriff Guy. "He graciously agreed to add his name to our efforts, and we were finally able to meet with him to make the appointment." Guy added that he and Gill shared a deep concern over the problems of meth and prescription drug abuse statewide, especially in McMinn County.
"Vince's outstanding character makes him a perfect celebrity candidate for this appointment," added Guy. "His stance on drug abuse and his charity work go hand in hand."
"I've never used drugs, and never had those types of problems," said Gill. "If I had, my daddy would have killed me." Gill's father was a Federal Judge who had a deep impact on his son's life and character.
A customized silver badge with Gill's name engraved on it, framed with an oath of office, was presented by Sheriff Guy at a recent charity concert Gill provided for the Chattanooga Children's Advocacy Center.
McMinn County has been listed as having seized the most meth labs in Tennessee in 2009 and 2010. But efforts by McMinn County law enforcement show almost a 40% decrease in the number of labs encountered in 2011.
"We will continue a plan of aggressive enforcement, community education, and substance abuse programs in the jail," said Sheriff Guy. "Vince Gill's help will be an added asset to public awareness