There are 95 listed counties in Tennessee. This means that the state has 95 sheriff offices which are being overseen by the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association (TSA). The TSA was set up in 1971 and has been serving residents of the state as well as its sheriffs ever since. If you are interested in becoming a sheriff here, this is what you need to know.

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Tennessee Sheriff Requirements

To become a sheriff in Tennessee, you will have to meet certain requirements. Candidate:

  • Should be at least 18 or older.
  • Must be a legal citizen of the United States. This includes individuals born in the country as well as naturalized Americans.
  • Should have passed high school at least. If not, then an equivalent GED (General Educational Development) certificate is acceptable too.
  • Must be a resident of the county he/she wishes to serve as a sheriff in.

*The requirements mentioned above are general. The actual conditions for your chosen county in Tennessee might differ slightly. So, don’t forget to consult the specific eligibility criteria of your preferred county before submitting your application.

Steps to Become a Sheriff in Tennessee

To become a sheriff in Tennessee, you will have to follow these steps:

  1. Enroll for police training. Some counties run exclusive sheriff training courses as well.
  2. Serve as an officer for some time after completing police training. The minimum service time acceptable is different for different counties.
  3. Go for higher education. Although this isn’t mandatory, having an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree will brighten your chances of becoming a sheriff. Enroll in a program related to law enforcement or criminal justice.
  4. Meet the basic requirements fr becoming a sheriff. These include a written test, interview, physical exam and a thorough background check.
  5. Submit your nomination papers with the county to enter the balloting for the office of sheriff.
  6. Run your election campaign.
  7. Win the elections to secure your position as sheriff for a fixed term, which is typically 4 years long. You can run for office again after this term is up.

How Much Time Is Required to Become a Sheriff in Tennessee?

Becoming a sheriff is generally a long-term procedure requiring at least a few years. Once your police academy training is complete, you will have to serve as an officer for a few years to be eligible to run for sheriff. This length of time varies from county to county. So, depending on your preferred county, you can expect to spend between 3 to 7 years going through the process.

What Is the Salary of a Tennessee Sheriff?

As per the data made available by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, First-line Supervisors of Police and Detectives in Tennessee had an annual mean wage of $65,320 in May, 2018.

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