Chris Hatton


Your Sylva Police Department is in the midst of a busy events season. We are a busy little town during the holidays. 

One of the lesser-known events coming up on Dec. 11 is Shop with a Cop. This event is a favorite of many of our officers. Officers really enjoy being able to help provide a wonderful Christmas experience for some kids that deserve it.

Sylva PD still has two vacant positions for police officers. Officer Maleah Mathis has completed her training and is out patrolling Sylva with no training officer needed. She’s pretty happy about that.

Our newest officer, Eli Trantham, is really just getting a good start on his field training. Like Mathis, he will be trained by different officers within our department on crucial topics, such as how to investigate traffic accidents, community policing principles, how to de-escalate tense situations and where to find good coffee even in the middle of the night.

Let’s talk about speed limits.

Sylva, I’m giving many of you a bad grade on this subject. Too many of you are driving too fast, and some of you are driving downright crazy. The unsafe driving is more frequent on weekday mornings and evenings.

The Sylva Police Department is increasing its speed enforcement efforts in our town. If you’re a Sylva speeder, this is a great time to start driving slower to avoid getting a ticket. If you’re not a speeder, then this paragraph wasn’t for you and I’d like to personally thank you for driving safely.

In closing, doesn’t Sylva look absolutely amazing? As I was patrolling this weekend, I caught myself asking, how does our little town look so much like a fairytale or even a Hallmark channel movie?

Then I noticed all the beautiful holiday decorations put up by our town workers and individual business owners. I’m always amazed by the creativity of our town’s businesses. All the shops looks so inviting and you can tell everyone is getting excited for the holiday season. Shop local, please!

The town guys work hard to help us all celebrate the seasons. How did they get all the fall decorations taken down and those beautiful snowflakes put up so fast? It’s like magic to me; seems like it happened overnight. The town looks beautiful guys, great job.

If you get a chance to speak with the town workers, tell then how much you appreciate their work or just give them a big thumbs up. They’re a great group of hard-working guys. 

If I seem a bit too excited, just remember this is my first Thanksgiving and Christmas in Sylva. This is a special place. It’s not like this everywhere. We are all very fortunate to live here.

At the end of my shift, I went home and told my wife, Glennis, “Christmas in Sylva is going to be awesome!” She agreed.

Sylva, please look after each other, slow down on our roads and watch for people in our crosswalks. 

Happy Holidays,

Chief Hatton.

Hatton is chief of the Sylva Police Department.