East Tennessee Constables Association honors late Johnson County Sheriff Eddie Tester

Published 11:47 am Monday, October 23, 2023

BY ROBERT SORRELL
STAR CORRESPONDENT
The East Tennessee Constables Association recently honored the late Johnson County Sheriff Eddie Tester’s family for his dedication, service and leadership.
Tester died unexpectedly on Aug. 11 after suffering a heart attack at his home in Johnson County, where he was first elected sheriff in 2018.
“I’ve been to a lot of people’s funerals, but I’ve never in my life seen such a beautiful dedication of someone’s life,” said Carter County Constable Dustin Baker.
Baker and many other constables from around the region attended Tester’s funeral. He said he witnessed a “tremendous outpouring of people, officers” at the sheriff’s memorial service.
“He treated everyone the same,” Baker said. “He loved people. He loved serving people.”
The constables association presented his wife Brenda Tester a plaque recently in honor of her husband.
It says: “The East Tennessee Constables Association honors Sheriff Eddie Tester for his outstanding dedication, service and leadership. Sheriff Tester served Johnson County with pride, dignity and honor. He will be truly missed but never forgotten. It is with love and pride the East Tennessee Constables Association presents this award to Sheriff Eddie Tester’s family.”
Baker said Tester was always there when someone needed help.
The plaque says, “If you need me, let me know.”
The constable added that if you didn’t ask for Tester’s help, he would know it.
The sheriff’s wife of 35 years said Tester always supported the constables, whether they served in Johnson County or elsewhere. He provided local constables with support and access to the sheriff’s office, she said.
Brenda Tester added that her husband was kindhearted and looked after the community. He also worked regular shifts, including patrol.
In addition, Tester regularly supported the East Tennessee Constables Association. The association’s chief training officer, Carter County Constable Kenneth Potter, said Tester regularly attended training sessions and assisted constables from around the region. He would train them on various topics as part of their annual training.
The association’s president, Sullivan County Constable Kent Harris, said Tester also made sure Johnson County’s schools were secure. Tester allowed constables to assist in protecting the schools, which included traffic control and security.
Harris said it was an honor to recognize the late sheriff.
“There’s not an award that exemplifies that man,” Baker said.
The East Tennessee Constables Association presented Tester with the 2019 Sheriff of the Year award. State Rep. Timothy Hill was on hand to recognize Tester’s achievement.
Tester, who died at the age of 58, began his career as a certified nurses aid at Mountain City Care Center. He also was a dispatcher and a deputy at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. Eventually, he served as a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper for 18 years.
Tester also served as an emergency medical technician at the Johnson County Rescue Squad and a firefighter at both the Trade Volunteer Fire Department and the Mountain City Fire Department.
In 2022, Tester overwhelmingly won his second election for Johnson County sheriff.

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