Sullivan County

Paperwork piles up in local sheriff's office

Paperwork piles up in local sheriff's office

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - There's a problem in Sullivan County that may never go away because it is always getting worse.

The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office says they receive an average of 1,803 pieces of process a month. That includes court summons, arrest warrants, demands for child support and alimony, among others.

Through August, the total number of process received for 2013 is a staggering 14,419.

The deputies in Sullivan County are doing all they can to keep up with the growing stack of paperwork. "We have seven officers that are assigned full-time to work on that load. We are going to fall behind, but we are doing the best we can with the resources we have available," said Lt. Kyle Carter.

Thanks to men like Deputy Terry Robinson, who spends his shift knocking on doors serving papers, the SCSO manages to not get swamped, but deputies face some unique challenges. "A lot of time we've got to track them down," said Robinson.

Many warrants and other process do not show a current address for the person named. News 5 even saw a warrant that listed the address as "the streets of Kingsport."

But even with vague addresses and people who don't want to be found, the SCSO clears on average 67 percent of process that comes in a month.

The only way to get 100 percent is with addition. "The only way you're going to resolve it is to throw manpower hours at it," said Carter.

We checked with the Bristol, Virginia police department and found out they have the same problem as Sullivan County, but deal with fewer numbers, about 300 warrants and other papers at any one time.

"It's a manpower thing in the end, because there's not enough people to dedicate to this," said Sergeant Steve Crawford.

You can take a look at some of Sullivan County's Most Wanted by clicking here.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of any of those people, call the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office at 423-279-7500

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