The “Candy Cop” was laid to rest last Friday.
Officer Joe Evans, retired from the New Tazewell Police Department after 22 years of service, died March 11.
Approximately 40 emergency vehicles were part of the funeral procession leading to Cave Springs Cemetery.
A native of Oklahoma and a veteran, Evans moved to Claiborne County in the early 1980s and began his law enforcement career - first with the Sheriff’s Department, then with the New Tazewell Police Department.
Evans soon began to realize that children need to view police officers as trustworthy and reliable, so he distributed candy to neighborhood children while patrolling.
He soon earned the nickname “The Candy Cop.”
He retired in May 2010, but was honored by Sen. Mike Faulk with a proclamation given to him last year.
The proclamation reads, “Officer Joe Evans epitomizes the spirit and commitment that are characteristic of a true Tennessean; and … throughout his estimable career, Officer Evans has demonstrated the utmost professionalism, ability and integrity, winning the unbridled respect and admiration of his colleagues and community alike.”
“This is well-deserved,” said New Tazewell Police Chief Johnny Johnson at the time. “Joe was a great officer.”
His legacy as the “Candy Cop” will live on in the memories of children for many years.
“We’ve been doing community policing for years,” Johnson said, “and we realize the importance of being out in the community and neighborhoods and doing things just like Joe did for years.”
Evans is survived by his wife Sylvia, children and grandchildren.
For the complete obituary, see page 6A.