Knox County Sheriff - Sheriff J.J. Jones
The Patrol Division maintains a strong presence in neighborhoods and around businesses in Knox County. The Traffic Unit focuses on traffic enforcement which frees the Patrol Division to concentrate more on personal safety.
The OPS makes sure that officers are held to the highest standards of officials conduct. The office processes, documents, and investigates allegations of misconduct and policy and procedural violations. It also investigates incidents where an officer has discharged a firearm. The OPS staff strives to maintain citizen confidence as well as guarantee due process protection to citizens and officers alike.
This is the umbrella division for a variety of functions: grants, media relations, special events, website, and videos. Since the division was formed in 1994, it has procured millions of dollars to put more officers on the street and in the schools, develop special programs for corrections, technology, and community projects.
Media Relations is the most visible part of the unit as it deals with local, state, and national media to provide interviews, story idea, press releases, mug shots and updating the website and media line with current information.
This division covers all public schools in Knox County: 25 elementary and intermediate schools, 7 middle schools and 9 high schools. The focus is protection as officers provide security and interact with both staff and students. This interaction helps students develop a rapport with the officers and help form trust. This trust has led to the prevention of many serious crimes.
During the summer months, the division joins the Patrol Division to assist in answering calls for service and increasing patrols in neighborhoods and around businesses throughout Knox County.
The key word in Special Services is "service." This division offers a wide variety of services for Knox County citizens, ranging from safety education to volunteer opportunities. The Special Services Division uses both certified law enforcement officers and teachers to inform the public about community-based programs. The division includes two full-time education specialists who visit all Knox County schools throughout the academic year. They instruct a curriculum that includes crime prevention, firearms safety, and bicycle and pedestrian safety. Certified officers provide Internet Safety and Business and Worship Center Crime Prevention seminars. The main components of the Special Services are detailed here.
The unit assists patrol in all enforcements functions such as pursuits, officer safety, drug bust support, marijuana eradication, special operations and search and rescue. It provides services to any surrounding counties that request help.
The unit was formed in 1996 when the Sheriff’s Office procured surplus helicopters from the military. It now has a fleet of four OH-58+ and one UH-1H (Huey). It is strictly operated by drug seizures, fines and forfeitures at little cost to taxpayers.
The helicopters have been called to assist during national disasters such as flood ravaged North Carolina when Hurricane Floyd hit the state and during Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.
Criminal Warrants is responsible for serving warrants and arresting wanted persons inside Knox County. The unit deals with extradition of fugitives from other states to stand trial in Knoxville and also returns prisoners from other counties within the state to face local charges.
Civil Warrants serves all civil papers issued by the courts such as subpoenas, lawsuits, landlord/tenant actions, forced evictions, orders of protection, writs of possession, wage garnishments and levies.
The unit is committed to the thorough and timely investigation for all crimes assigned to it. The detectives use teamwork, proven and nationally accepted interview techniques, innovative thinking, and crime scene forensic analysis to help solve homicides and other major crimes.
The division investigates property crime such as burglary, theft, auto theft, vandalism, fraud and forgery. The detectives work very hard to have one of the highest clearance rates in the country. Hundreds of thousands of dollars I stolen property is recovered and returned to the rightful owners every year.
The unit works with many agencies such as the FBI Safe Street Task Force, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Marshals, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Anti-Terrorism Advisory Committee as they share information and help make our area safe. Officers also conduct classes on homeland security issues and gang education.
The Juvenile Crime Task Force works with Juvenile Court in investigating, arresting, and serving court orders against adults who have been accused of committing a crime against a child. The Task Force is looks for solutions to juvenile problems by working with DCS, Knox County Schools, the Attorney General’s Office and Helen Ross McNabb.
The Forensics Unit responds to crime scenes to interpret, collect, document, and store evidence. The unit provides the investigator with a starting point by determining the identities of suspects and victims and to piece together the physical evidence found at the scene.
This division provides certified officers in and around the court areas. They also assist in the screening people as they enter the City/County Building and the Old Courthouse through metal detectors and they check items through x-ray machines.
The Bailiffs are assigned to work with a specific judge and are responsible for opening court and managing the courtroom.