Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Information

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
Agency overview
FormedMarch 27, 1980
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction Tennessee
Headquarters Tennessee

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is the criminal investigative arm of the state government of Tennessee.


The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was born as a result of a highly publicized murder in Greene County, Tennessee in December of 1949. The heinous crime aroused the emotion of citizens throughout the region. In an address to the Tennessee Press Association in January of 1951, John M. Jones, Sr., publisher of the Greeneville Sun, called for the creation of an unbiased state agency to assist local law enforcement in the investigation of serious crimes. On March 14, 1951, Governor Gordon Browning signed a bill into law establishing the Tennessee Bureau of Criminal Identification (TBCI) as the "plainclothes" division of the Department of Safety. Following a series of legislative hearings by the Tennessee General Assembly, the organization was re-established on March 27, 1980, as an independent agency and renamed the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The TBI manages the state's three crime labs, assists local law enforcement in investigating major crimes, and conducts special investigations related to illegal drugs, fugitives, public corruption, official misconduct, organized crime, domestic terrorism, healthcare fraud, arson, explosives, and patient abuse.

The TBI has statutory responsibility for collecting state crime statistics, which are published in an annual "Crime in Tennessee" report. It also manages a TBI Most Wanted list, AMBER Alert program, and statewide registries of sex offenders and methamphetamine offenders. [1]

The TBI is headed by a director who is appointed by the governor to a six-year term. The director is also a member of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Planning Commission. The current director is Former Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch, who was appointed in 2018. He was appointed after the previous Director Mark Gwyn retired less than 2 years into his third term amid controversies regarding nepotism in his hiring practices [2] followed by a scathing audit by the Comptroller's office which found he had overspent his budget for four years running. [3] The interim director Jason Locke also came under investigation the day David Rausch was appointed due to a complaint received from his wife describing misuse of state funds during an affair with another state employee at the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. [4]

Currently, the agency employs about 500 people, almost half of whom are commissioned officers. [1]

The motto of the TBI is "That guilt shall not escape, nor innocence suffer".

Office locations

See also


  1. ^ a b Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Blue Book 2007-2008, page 271
  2. ^ News Channel 5, Phil Williams, Nov 20, 2017
  3. ^ News Channel 5, Phil Williams, Apr 26, 2018
  4. ^ News Channel 5, Phil Williams, Jun 18, 2018

External links