This story was updated at 3:26 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, with more information.
Tennessee's law enforcement community is mourning the death of Brent Myers, a former sheriff in Grundy County who was working as a deputy in Bradley County and had worked in agencies across the region.
"We are extremely saddened by the passing of Deputy Brent Myers," states a post on the Bradley County Sheriff's Office social media page. "Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, loved ones and friends in this devastating news."
Myers was employed with the department at the time of his death. No details were released.
"Deputy Myers faithfully served Bradley County with the Sheriff's Office for four years and will be terribly missed," the Bradley County statement read. "Thank you for your service, Deputy Myers."
Grundy County officials also expressed condolences.
"We are sad to announce the passing of former Grundy County Sheriff and current Bradley County Deputy Brent Myers," the post states. "Keep his family and agency in your prayers."
Myers served as sheriff in Grundy County for two terms after being appointed to the post in the mid-2000s, archives show. Myers was elected to the office in 2006, re-elected in 2010 and then was defeated in the 2014 Democratic primary by Clint Shrum.
After leaving the sheriff's post, Myers went to work for the Bradley County Sheriff's Office.
Before becoming sheriff in Grundy, Myers served as a detective for the Marion County Sheriff's Office and as an officer in other law enforcement agencies in the region, including a stint as the police chief in Whitwell.
Myers was remembered in social media posts by law enforcement officers who knew him and worked with him with several mentions of "ear pulling," funny experiences and acts of kindness.
"Brother, you were the best of us!! You made work a joy — with laughs, amazing prayers, and great times!! We love you brother!!! You will never be forgotten!! Fly high brother!!" a message posted on Myers' social media page read.
"One of the first calls I ever responded to with him on was a domestic.. he arrived first....," posted another man who apparently was Myers' fellow officer. "I almost wrecked when I heard this on primary... 'I'm 10-97 (at the scene).... She's ...uh..... Station.... She's uh...chasin him round the yard with a cast iron skillet'...
"He always had a smile, was always ready to shake your hand and always ready to help. You will be missed Brent Myers...rest easy sir.. we have the watch from here!" the poster concluded.
Another credited Myers with the start of his law enforcement career.
"Sheriff Myers gave me my start in the job that I found to be so rewarding. He put trust in me when a bunch others wrote off a fat old busted up vet. I could walk by and he would pull my ear and say come on boy let's talk or are you going to do anything today," he said in the post.
"Thank you Unit 1," he finished. "[Y]our watch is clear."
One woman remarked that Myers often served as a "mystery Santa" at Christmastime.
"This is the last time I saw Brent Myers," she said of a photo she posted of Myers delivering gifts. "He swung by the house with toys for the kids ... Brent has provided toys for the kids every year we done Mystery Santa. Wonderful guy."