The Tennessee Department of Safety (TDOS) was established in 1939 by the Tennessee General Assembly to exercise authority over the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP). During its 69 years of sustained progress and service, the department has evolved into a multi-faceted agency. Today, the department’s general areas of responsibility are law enforcement, safety education, motorist services, and disaster preparedness and prevention. While each area performs distinctly different functions, they all work together toward the common goal of ensuring the public’s safety.
The department is comprised of three main divisions: Tennessee Highway Patrol, Driver License Services, and Office of Homeland Security. TDOS services extend to virtually everyone within the state’s borders, including motorists, commercial motor vehicle firms, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, students and teachers, attorneys and courts, financial institutions, insurance companies, media representatives, and others in need of the department’s specialized services.
Headquartered in Nashville, the department maintains a strong local presence throughout Tennessee with more than 60 field offices and employees in each of the state’s 95 counties. TDOS is comprised of a highly professional staff of more than 1,800 employees, approximately half being commissioned law enforcement officers.