Assistant Chief, Investigative Services
Assistant Chief Deputy Newt Schaeffer is responsible for commanding the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office three Investigative Services Bureaus: General Assignment, Narcotics, and Homeland Security. They encompass the Metro Gang Unit, Special Operations- SWAT/Bomb Units, and ALERT Unit. Detectives within these bureaus are also assigned to task forces with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation (Safe Streets Task Force, Tarnished Badge Task Force, Innocent Images Task Force and Joint Terrorism Task Force), Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (Project Safe Neighborhood Task Force) and the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office.
Chief Schaeffer is a lifelong resident of Memphis and Shelby County. He is a 1981 graduate of Oakhaven Baptist Academy. He attended Jackson State Community College and Memphis State University. He began his law enforcement career with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office in 1987. He has served in Patrol, General Assignment, Narcotics, Fugitive and Training Bureaus. He was assigned to the DEA Task Force for nine years and received numerous commendations from the Administrator of the DEA for domestic and international narcotics investigations conducted out of the Memphis Resident Office.
During his 14-year tenure in the Narcotics bureau, he received two promotions from Sheriff A.C. Gilless to both Sergeant and Lieutenant. He served as the Executive Officer of the Narcotics Bureau from 1998 through 2003, when he was reassigned to Patrol Division. He served in the Patrol and Fugitive Bureaus until Sheriff Mark Luttrell promoted him to Captain in 2005, where he was the commander of the Fugitive Bureau. He re-established that group’s partnership with the United States Marshals Service Task Force. Notable operations in Fugitive during his tenure included working with Juvenile Court and USMS for innovative programs. A partnership with the USMS, the faith based community, and many others led to the creation and successful implementation of the Safe Surrender Program, which was the first ever program in Memphis designed to work directly with the community and the entire Shelby County Criminal Justice System to safely facilitate the service of outstanding criminal warrants, and an immediate resolution of many outstanding cases.
In 2010, Captain Schaeffer was reassigned as the Executive Officer of the Patrol Bureau. During this period, Patrol took ownership of the Sheriff’s Office Data Smart Policing. In a two-year period, Part 1 crimes were reduced 11.2 %. He recommended a number of efficiencies while preparing for the 2011 flood, and those became procedures that continue today. He was tasked with completing the Unified Consolidation Security Initiatives for School Resource Officers after the City School Board surrendered its charter. During the planning phase of the school security initiative he became a committee member of Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JADI). This alliance led to collaborating with Mark Solar, Executive Director for Center for Children’s Law and Policy, to receive free Adolescent Development training for our School Resource Officers from health and legal professionals. The Department of Justice was so impressed with the favorable reception that they provided a week-long “train-the-trainers” program for our deputies, who learned about implicit bias and more effective ways to interact with youth.
He served as the Executive Officer of the Training Academy from 2013 until 2014 when Sheriff Bill Oldham appointed him to Chief Inspector. He commanded Narcotics / Metro Gang Unit, Special Operations, K-9 and Homeland Security.
In 2015, Sheriff Oldham appointed him to Assistant Chief Deputy over the Administrative Services Bureau which encompass Bureau of Professional Standards and Integrity, all Training (law enforcement, jail, civilian, and other agencies), as well as the Office of Accreditation (CALEA).
In 2018, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. appointed him to lead the Investigative Services Bureau.
In 1995, Chief Schaeffer graduated from the Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Unit Commanders Academy, Quantico, Virginia; 15th Session. He is also a 2005 graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command, Evansville, Illinois, Class 215. In 2015, he graduated from Northwestern University’s Executive Management Program, Evansville, Illinois. He is an active member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Maintains a Tennessee POST Instructors certification for specializing training in Clandestine Methamphetamine Labs. He has attended numerous schools and certifications related to law enforcement management, investigations, leadership, narcotics, K-9, money laundering, asset forfeiture, drug interdiction, gangs, incident command, active shooter response, critical incident stress management and traffic accident schools.
Chief Schaeffer’s affiliations and professional memberships:
Northwestern University School of Public Safety Alumni Association
Tennessee Law Enforcement Trainers Association
United States Deputy Sheriff’s Association
International Association of Chiefs of Police
National Sheriff’s Association
Tennessee Sheriff’s Association
Memphis Metropolitan Association of Chiefs of Police
Past affiliations and memberships:
Tennessee Narcotics Officers Association- Secretary
National Drug Enforcement Officers Association
Fraternal Order of Police
Shelby County Deputy Sheriff’s Association
He has been married to his wife for 32 years and has two adult children.
Contact Newt Schaeffer