Investigative Operations includes the Criminal Investigations Unit and the Narcotics Unit, also known as the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force. These units joined forces in late 2014, and also absorbed the HEAT (HiTech Evidence and Technology Unit). These units now operate jointly as part of an overall reorganization of command structure to improve cross-functional communications within the agency.
Investigative Operations is responsible for the investigation of major crimes, including:
In 2015, the unit investigated more than 1,800 cases. The unit continues to see a steady increase in cases each year. In addition, the unit investigates Internet crimes such as child sexual exploitation and identity theft. They continue to work with ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) to conduct investigations pertaining to the protection of America?s children on the Internet.
Sex Offender Registration
The Sheriff's Office also handles all sex offender registration in Blount County. All sex offenders must register with authorities within 48 hours of changing addresses, taking a new job, enrolling in college, or moving out of state. At the end of 2015, there were 223 sex offenders residing in Blount County, which is a decrease from 2014, which numbered 285. A list of those registered on the sex offender registry is available through the Sex Offender Registry link on the Sheriff's Office website.