A joint operation between the Carter County Sheriff’s Office, Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office, and Erwin Police Department resulted in 10 arrests Tuesday.
The arrests, which took place in Unicoi County during a round up operation, were made for a variety of misdemeanor charges. Deputies also found evidence during the arrests that led the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office to also file narcotics charges and open a new investigation, according the Sheriff Mike Hensley. All the arrests were made against people with active arrest warrants.
Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford stressed the importance of aggressive arrest warrant service in driving down crime. Lunceford, Hensley, and Erwin Police Chief Regan Tilson agreed that arresting persons with warrants sends a message to troublemakers and prevents criminals from committing new crimes.
The three agency heads also emphasized the need for a regional warrants system. Misdemeanor warrants are not usually entered into the federal warrants database (National Crime Information Center). Unfortunately, this means local law enforcement agencies often have low visibility of persons who are wanted in neighboring jurisdictions. Lunceford, Hensley, and Tilson all agreed to pursue utilizing technology the Carter County Sheriff’s Office has developed to begin creating a regional database that would include misdemeanor warrants.
After the round up, the Carter County warrants database showed less than 1,000 warrants on fewer than 900 wanted persons. This is the lowest number of active arrest warrants the county has seen in 20 years.