Effective January 1, 2016 Captain Mark Blevins supervises the Field Division. The field is comprised of 16 deputies. The field is responsible for the initial response to all calls for service within Smyth County. Shifts of uniformed deputies patrol the county 24 hours a day. Their duties include enforcement of traffic laws, serving criminal warrants, responding to calls-for-service from the public, as well as being first responders to crimes.
Squad cars are equipped with laptop computers and citation equipment which allow deputies to perform numerous inquiries, entries, issue citations and reports from their vehicle.
Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) SERT is a specialized unit of ten deputies. They receive hours of intensive training to respond to high risk situations such as hostage situations, barricaded persons, executing search warrants on major drug cases, and high-risk warrant service. Members of this team perform their regularly assigned duties, plus attend special SERT training monthly.
The Smyth County Sheriff’s Office has 3 K-9 units that are assigned to Field Operations. Sgt Michael Lowe and K9 Abel (Blood Hound) and Cpl Brad Johnson and K9 Mags(Blood Hound) are certified to locate, follow and alert on fresh human scent which includes suspects who have walked or run away from crime scenes. Sgt Landon Smith and Luna(German Shepherd) are certified to locate narcotics. These dogs undergo hundreds of hours of training to effectively perform these assigned tasks. These dogs are tested and certified before they are allowed in the field. They must be recertified every two years by the Virginia Police Work Dog Association.
Underwater Search and Recovery Team (Dive Team)
The Sheriff’s Office Underwater Search and Recovery Team (Dive Team) is currently comprised of four divers, Cpt. Mark Blevins, Cpt. Bill Eller, Cpl. Eric Davidson and Deputy Wes Eller. To be a member of the dive team, candidates must demonstrate their abilities in a pool environment, and be certified a scuba diver through an internationally recognized diving organization. Candidates must also demonstrate that they are comfortable in zero visibility and black water environments. Once selected, divers are trained in rescue diving, search and recovery operations, equipment maintenance, and dry suit diving. Dive team operations include initiating search and recovery operations in underwater environments, locating and investigating underwater crime scenes, documenting and retrieving evidentiary items from the water, and assisting in the investigation of water related crimes.