Violent Crimes Unit

The Violent Crimes Unit (VCU) is currently assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division and is comprised of four Detectives and one Sergeant. The VCU works many different types of crimes ranging from Domestic Assaults, Rape, Child Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse, Child Neglect, Child Pornography, Stalking, Elder Abuse, Adult Missing Persons, Assaults, Robberies, and Death Investigations.

Death investigations encompass all five death categories that are as follows: Natural, Accidental, Suicide, Homicide, and Unexplained. These deaths are worked closely in conjunction with the Medical Examiner’s Office and Rutherford County Emergency Services, who are currently deputized as Deputy Coroners for Rutherford County.

Detectives within the Violent Crimes Unit receive many hours of training geared to death investigations. This training includes a wide range of courses to include: Homicide, Suicide, Accidental, Drug related deaths, and Crime Scene Investigation. This training is essential in death investigations to help determine the possible causes of death that are encountered in the course of the unit’s duties.

The Violent Crimes Unit also works with the Narcotics Unit jointly to oversee all deaths that are as a result of drug related overdoses. These cases are presented to the Rutherford County District Attorney’s Office in certain instances to facilitate the prosecution of individuals, who are found culpable for the death. Also, some cases have been presented to the United States District Attorney’s Office in situations that have involved multiple offenders with out of state ties to the investigation.

VCU works with outside law enforcement agencies to assist in the furtherance of certain crimes that can be prosecuted on a federal level. These agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Homeland Security and Secret Service. These cases generally involve crimes that include Bank Robbery, Threats to National Security, multiple robberies committed in several jurisdictions and cases that include serious weapons violations.

The Violent Crimes Unit is tasked with the prosecution of some of the most violent offenders and is committed to seeing those found guilty being sentenced to fullest extent of the laws that are applicable. Depending on the severity of the crimes committed and criminal histories of the offenders these cases are in some instances better prosecuted on the federal level due to stricter sentencing guidelines imposed by the federal courts. These partnerships with outside state and federal agencies are paramount in our abilities to accomplish these goals.

VCU investigates all cases involving adult missing persons that range from people who are mentally ill, suicidal, suffering from drug/alcohol addictions, elderly, or in worst case scenarios victims of abduction or violence.
Depending on the nature of some of the cases the unit may require the assistance of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation or Federal Bureau of Investigation to help facilitate certain Alerting Systems to the public.

 The Violent Crimes Unit also works closely within our division with the Forensic Services Unit that assist in the processing of major crime scenes. Collectively both units work together to help assist in the clearance of investigations and eventually
in the prosecution of offenders.

Ending the Cycle of Violence
Following the patrol response to domestic situations, this unit provides victims with resources for ending the cycle of violence.  Often, the victim reunites with the offender, making this type of case very difficult to prosecute, however in cases where prosecution occurs, the unit works well with the District Attorney's Office and has a high rate of success.