HomeNewsLocal law enforcement officer speaks of different experiences

Local law enforcement officer speaks of different experiences

Randy Coyne is a commander for Jody Pickens’ office as the District Attorney for the 26th Judicial District Drug Task Force.

He’s from Arkansas but lived in Jackson when he was in college attending Lambuth University and played football for the Eagles.

After graduation, he began his career in law enforcement as an officer for Jackson Police Department before moving up the ranks.

“Being a police officer in a city like Jackson is what I wanted to do, and I would’ve been OK to do nothing but that for my entire career,” Coyne said while speaking to the Jackson Rotary Club on March 6 at the First United Methodist Church in Downtown Jackson. “But I applied for bigger jobs just because there were different opportunities and more pay involved, but I knew there was little chance of me being picked for them.”

That career path led him to a few different assignments including working for the Secret Service for under multiple Presidents’ administrations.

It also led to him serving as a U.S. Marshal in Alaska.

There were sometimes when his commitment to the Secret Service and his work in Alaska would overlap.

“Alaska is a beautiful place, and there were times when family members of a President or former Presidents would want to come up there for vacation, and it was on me to ensure everything was ready for their visit when they arrived and to ensure their security while they were there,” Coyne said. “So there were times I was rock climbing with Laura Bush or on an island by myself with [former President Jimmy Carter] roasting marshmallows on a campfire.”

Also because of his work, Coyne volunteered to spend three weeks in New York City in the fall of 2001 in the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

He was assigned to serve at a nearby landfill where debris from the fallen twin towers of the World Trade Center were brought, and it was his job to go through the debris as part of the U.S. government’s investigation for different purposes. Plans are being made for Coyne to return to speak later this year on Sept. 11 at the Rotary meeting to talk more about that experience.

“I’ve definitely had a unique career with a number of memorable experiences,” Coyne said. “But I can tell you that the work I’m involved in now is as important as any work I’ve been a part of.

“There’s a lot of drugs like fentanyl and meth coming across the border and making their way into Tennessee, and it’s our job to get as much of it as we can off the streets and out of the hands of Tennesseans. We’re charged with doing that in three counties of the 26th Judicial District, which means we’re also covering Henderson and Chester counties. We’ve got sheriff deputies in all three counties and policemen in Lexington, Henderson and here in Jackson that are working hard together to make our area safer.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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