We value our established and positive working relationship with several hundred media outlets across Tennessee. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) to help working journalists understand a bit more about the TBI and our operations. As always, if you have a specific question, please feel free to reach out to our Public Information Office at TBI.Media@tn.gov.
What is the TBI?
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is Tennessee’s primary criminal investigative agency. In that role, the Bureau is responsible for providing support to local law enforcement agencies in joint investigations and investigate crimes at the request of the local District Attorneys General for each of the state’s 31 Judicial Districts.
How do you get involved in cases?
There are two different ways. We have Original Jurisdiction to investigate crimes related to drugs, fugitives, public corruption, official misconduct, organized crime, illegal gambling, Medicaid provider fraud, patient abuse, social security administration fraud, cyber crime, domestic terrorism and employees or prospective employees of the Bureau or the Department of Safety.
A second way we can become involved in a case is by Request, most often from a District Attorney General. More specifics about TBI’s investigative authority can be found on the TBI website.
How can I check on whether charges are dismissed against an individual, or when a court date might be scheduled?
Issues that are related to the prosecution of a case should be directed to the District Attorney’s Office for that particular judicial district. For a map of who those DAs are, click this link: http://www.tndagc.com/dir.htm.
Can you add me to your E-mail distribution list?
Generally, we issue news releases upon the arrest or booking of a subject implicated as a result of TBI casework. We post those on this blog, our Facebook page, and to our Twitter account. We also E-mail them. We have found, however, the size of our distribution list hinders the speed with which those recipients receive them. In many instances, we’ve found it to be faster for individual reporters to ‘Subscribe’ to this blog — on the right side of this page — to receive an E-mail notification when we issue a new release. If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at TBI.Media@tn.gov.
Where can I get a copy of an indictment or affidavit from an arrest warrant?
Those are filed with the Clerk’s office or Court’s office for the county where the indictment or arrest was made.
Do you have a seal I can use for a graphic?
I did a phone interview with one of your PIOs. Do you have a picture of them I can use?
Absolutely. Check out this page for pictures and biographies of our Public Information Officers.
I’d like a rough overview of the Bureau and its operations. Where can I find out more?
It might be a great idea to review our Annual Report, posted with our other annual crime publications online. Let us know if you have any follow-up questions.
I need to find out crime statistics to add context to a story. Can you help?
Absolutely. Check out the public website on www.TNCrimeOnline.com. This database uses information submitted to TBI through the Tennessee Incident-Based Reporting System (TIBRS). It can be a bit tricky to navigate your first time, so if you have trouble, just reach out to our office.
Are you just a state version of the FBI?
No. Though a lot of our work mirrors and complements the work of our federal partners, we have a unique charter and mission to serve the people of Tennessee. We also have unique laws guiding our work.
I have an Open Records request. Where should I send that?
You can mail those to:
TBI Public Information Office
Open Records Request
901 R.S. Gass Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37216
Also, please be sure to send an official records request.
I’d like to see an investigative report on a TBI case. Can you help me with that?
We’re sorry, but no. In general, Tennessee state law dictates that all TBI investigative records are confidential absent a court order or subpoena.
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