KPD Sgt. Shaffer Selected as 2018 KPD Officer of the Year

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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KPD Sgt. Shaffer Selected as 2018 KPD Officer of the Year

Posted: 04/01/2019
Chief Thomas, Sgt Shaffer, Mayor RogeroFor dedication to his profession and continuing the fight to end drug related deaths, Sgt. Josh Shaffer was presented with the 2018 KPD Officer of the Year award on Monday, April 1, 2019 at the Knoxville Police Department Recognition Luncheon.

Sgt. Shaffer currently serves in the Criminal Investigations Division and is assigned as the supervisor of the Drug-Related Death Task Force. The Drug-Related Death Task Force was created a few years ago with the goal of impacting the number of overdose deaths that were occurring in our jurisdiction. The task force is a partnership between the KPD, Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, DEA, and other contributors. 

In 2018 alone, The Drug Related Death Task Force investigated over 100 deaths that were suspected to be drug related.  These investigations led to the arrests of 34 individuals and charged in state and federal court for drug distribution. The Task Force also served four nuisance injunctions on properties that were locations of drug trafficking and multiple overdoses.

Cases by the Task Force resulted in the seizure of numerous types of controlled substances including 738 grams of heroin, 73 grams of fentanyl, $28,032.00 cash and ten firearms.

In addition to working the suspected drug related deaths in Knoxville, the Task Force assisted numerous surrounding agencies with their death investigations. Other law enforcement agencies in the area are experiencing a rise in overdoses and deaths, and as they work these cases, KPD's Drug-Related Death Task Force has become the "go-to" for assistance.

Sgt. Shaffer creates a culture of aggressive casework and tireless energy. The investigators under his command work long hours and are consistently encouraged by his energy and enthusiasm. 

Due to the number of overdose deaths in our region, Sgt. Shaffer had to create investigative procedures specific to these types of cases. Because of this ingenuity, he was invited to speak at numerous training events and executive briefings. In September, Sgt. Shaffer was invited to speak at the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition, Drug Enforcement Forum.

Sgt. Shaffer took the an unenviable challenge of investigating drug overdoses and created a model for the entire nation as we fight the epidemic of drug related deaths.