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Investigative Services

Child Abuse | Domestic Violence

The Mission of the Investigative Services Division is service to the victims of crime in this county. This service is accomplished by investigating, suppressing, and preventing crimes against persons and property using traditional and unorthodox methods.

The goal is to provide a greater sense of safety among the citizens of Rutherford County and to engender faith in the Sheriff's Office's dedication to that end. While the ISD detectives are all involved in general investigations ranging from vandalism to homicide, several are also tasked with sub-specialties to include: Domestic Violence, Arson and Intelligence.

Additionally, several investigators are also members of other specialized units, including F.A.S.T. team, mounted patrol, marine unit, firearms training, dive & rescue.

ISD detectives are also on call to assist with high risk arrests/warrant service, other manpower intensive investigations and suppression of criminal activities targeted by the sheriff or detective supervisors.

Child Abuse

To report a child abuse:
Emergency: 911
Sheriff’s Office: (615) 898-7770
Department of Children’s Services: 1-877-237-0004

Reports also can be made online on the Department of Children’s Services secure site: Law Enforcement and the Department of Children’s Services work together to minimize the trauma to child abuse victims. Examples of a reportable child abuse: Any sexual abuse of a child under the age of 18, any physical abuse of a child under the age of 18, neglect situations of children (young children being left alone for long periods of time, no adult supervision, extremely dirty home, children not being fed, clothed properly, or domestic violence in the home that is ongoing). Citizens should be aware that reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect is done so in good faith. People making a referral have immunity from any civil or criminal liability. It should also be noted that those who know or suspect child abuse and fail to report it are guilty of breaking the law and could be charged with failure to report. There is no law that says how long children can be left alone and at what age a child can be left alone. Guidelines have been set that at age eight, given the totality of the circumstances, a child can be left alone and at age 13 a child can babysit younger siblings. The circumstances are considered when investigating these types of situations, such as maturity level of child, how long the child is left alone and how many siblings are left with an older one. This is why citizens are urged to get involved. If there is a problem or a child needs help, call the Sheriff’s Office Family Crimes Unit at (615) 904-3038 to answer any questions.

Domestic Violence

Report domestic violence:
Emergency: 911
Non emergency (615) 898-7770

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office has a proactive approach in response to domestic violence. Domestic Violence is preventable. Thorough investigations of incidents of domestic violence and appropriate enforcement has resulted in reductions in domestic homicides, assaults, spousal rapes, stalking, harassment and domestic hostage situations.

Emergency Numbers for Domestic Violence

Rutherford County Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence Unit (615) 898-7770
Domestic Violence Program (615) 896-2032
Domestic Violence Center (615) 896-2012
Rutherford Guidance Center (615) 893-0770
West Main Mission (615) 893-8912
Rape and Sexual Abuse Center (Nashville) (615) 259-9055
Crisis Line (615) 256-8526

Domestic Abuse Defined (Tenn 36-3-601)
Inflicting or attempting to inflict physical injury on an adult or minor by other than accidental means, placing an adult or minor in fear of physical harm, physical restraint, or malicious damage to the personal property of the abused party.

Who can be a Victim:
1. Adults or minors who are current or former spouses.
2. Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together.
3. Adults or minors who are dating or who have had a sexual relationship.
4. Adults or minors related by blood or adoption.
5. Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage.
6. Adult or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described in 1-5 (Tenn 36-3-601)


Preferred response by Law Enforcement (Tenn 36-3-601)
Law Enforcement Officers shall arrest a person committing domestic abuse, unless there is a clear and compelling reason not to arrest.

The RCSO Domestic Violence Unit operates under the direction of the Criminal Investigations Division. There are currently three Detectives assigned to the unit with future plans of growing. Services provided by the Unit include, but are not limited to:

  1. Domestic Abuse follow-ups: follow-up photographs, re-interviewing witnesses, collection of evidence.

  2. Offering assistance to victims: obtaining criminal warrants, obtaining orders of protection, offering available information, property retrieval from the home.

  3. On scene investigation of Domestic Abuse cases.

  4. Arrest of Domestic Abuse offenders.

  5. Teaching Domestic Abuse dynamics to Law Enforcement Personnel.

  6. Serving criminal warrants and orders of protection.

The Unit operates in the Tennessee Sixteenth Judicial District serving Rutherford and Cannon County.

The Detectives are members of the Sixteenth Judicial District Domestic Violence Coalition and its training team.

If you are a victim of Domestic Violence, know there is help available.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, you have the following rights:

  1. You may file a criminal complaint with the District Attorney General.

  2. You may request an Order of Protection. An Order of Protection may include the following:

    1. An order preventing the abuser from committing further domestic abuse against you;

    2. An order requiring the abuser to leave the household;

    3. An order preventing the abuser from harassing you or contacting you for any reason;

    4. An order giving you or the other parent custody or visitation with your minor child or children;

    5. An order requiring the abuser to pay money to support you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so; and

    6. An order preventing the abuser from stalking you.

Safety Planning when preparing to leave a Domestic Abuser:

  1. Open a savings account in your own name to start to establish or increase your independence. Think of other ways in which you can increase your independence.
  2. Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothing with someone you trust so you can leave quickly.

  3. Determine who would be able to let you stay with them or lend you some money.

  4. Keep the Shelter phone number close at hand and keep some change or a calling card on you at all times for emergency phone calls. If possible keep a cellular phone with you at all times.

  5. Review your safety plan as often as possible in order to plan the safest way to leave your batterer. Remember leaving your batterer is the most dangerous time.

Checklist of what you need to take when you leave:

  1. Identification - Driver's License
  2. Child's birth certificate
  3. Your birth certificate
  4. Money
  5. Lease, rental agreement, house deed
  6. Bank books, check books
  7. Insurance papers
  8. House and car keys
  9. Medications
  10. Small saleable objects, address book, pictures
  11. Medical records, social security card, welfare I.D.
  12. School records, work permits, green card, passport
  13. Divorce papers
  14. Jewelry
  15. Child's small toys

There are other safety plans available depending on your situation and specific needs.

If you need further information on how to file a criminal complaint, contact the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence Unit (615) 898-7770 or the Domestic Violence Program (615) 896-2032 on how to obtain an Order of Protection.