Detective Division

The Detective Division of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department is a diverse group of investigators working together to solve a variety of crimes. Chief Detective Gene Hargis mainly works major crimes including burglaries, homicides, suicides, narcotics, and is in charge of the Sex Offender Registry. Detective Chad Johnson works narcotics and weapons cases and is assigned to the ATF Task Force in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Detective Beth Schindel works a variety of cases including rapes, child abuse, burglaries, and thefts. Detective Matt Blansett investigates cases including arson, litter, thefts, and narcotics.

Together, this group of detectives investigates all major crimes that occur in Marion County. In 2009, the detectives worked over 1,400 felony cases and arrested over 450 individuals on various crimes. The goal of the detective division is to work with all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to prevent and prosecute crimes within the County’s borders.

Chief Detective Gene Hargis
Chief Detective Gene Hargis has worked in law enforcement since 1990. He started his career in 1990 working with the South Pittsburg Police Department Reserve Program while attending Chattanooga State majoring in Criminal Justice.  In 1991, he was hired at the Marion County Sheriff’s Department by Sheriff Pooster Haskew. Chief Detective Hargis graduate from the State Police Academy in Nashville in 1992 and began working as a road deputy. After a few months, he moved into investigations.  Cheif Detective Hargis has worked for three different sheriffs as their Chief Detective.

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Detective Chad Johnson
ATF Task Force
Detective Chad Johnson is a native of Marion County and has over 10 years of law enforcement service.  Detective Johson began his career at the Whitwell Police Department in 1999 after graduating from the Cleveland State Law Enforcement Academy. In 2004, Detective Johnson worked briefly at the signal mountain Police Department before transferring to the Marion County Sheriff’s Department in 2005 and taking on the position of Detective.  In 2008, Detective Johnson was assigned by Sheriff Bo Burnett to work with the ATF Task Force known as Project Safe Neighborhoods.

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Detective Beth Schindel
Detective Beth Schindel began her career in law enforcement in November of 1999. Schindel was hired at the Marion County Sheriff’s Department as a corrections officer.  After a few months, she advanced to communications where she dispatched for the next three years. Schindel graduated from Cleveland State Law Enforcement Training Academy on September 20, 2002.  Schindel was a deputy for six months before being promoted to night shift sergeant where she remained for four years.

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Detective Matt Blansett
Detective Matt Blansett began his career in law enforcement in December, 2001. Blansett was hired by the City of South Pittsburg as a communications operator.  He worked with South Pittsburg until November, 2002, when he was hired into the communications division of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.  Blansett worked in this division until January, 2003 when he was advanced to deputy. He graduated from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy on May 21, 2004.  Blansett graduated with honors where he received the Top Gun award for having the highest firearms score out of the 81 cadets in his academy class.

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