President, Executive Director & Committee Chairman Messages
A Note from our Executive Director
It is an honor to serve as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association. Our Sheriffs across the state during this past year have had to tackle problems that were once only believed to be the job of the United States Military. From Memphis to Bristol, Sheriffs have had daily and weekly updates on classified and declassified information, not only just for their on counties, but for every county in the state and in other states. The challenge has been to not over react but to educate ourselves in the problems law enforcement faces at home and in other counties.
In the United States, the Law Enforcement Community feels it is under attack. Our family members of our officers worry more than ever that their love ones will be injured or killed in the line of duty. The challenge is to find balance in everything that occurs in our community and our country. Good training and preparedness is the best way to stay ahead of a problem. Tennessee Sheriffs through training provided to them by the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association make our Sheriffs some of the most qualified Law Enforcement Executives in the United States. Tennessee has some of the highest standards and qualifications in the country on who can run for sheriff. Educational and experience elements of these standards give Tennessee Sheriffs a head start over others who are elected. We are community driven and transparent in all our dealings with our citizens that we represent.
The job is tough! We are often second guessed but being well trained prepares us for the unexpected. In short, your Sheriff has been fighting crime, running the jails, making arrests and keeping the peace. There is no greater honor than serving as a county sheriff. This office is where citizens get to elect the best person they can to protect them and their families. Please pray for our family members who have lost officers in the line of duty in Tennessee this year.
God Bless all of you for your continued support of your Sheriff and the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association.
Sheriff Terry Ashe, Ret.
Message from our President
It is a great honor for me to serve as the current president of the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association. In many places in our country, law enforcement agencies are struggling to deal with negative public perception, and at times are being target with violence. In Tennessee, my fellow Sheriffs and I are experiencing an immeasurable amount of public support and we want to say thank you. I believe that law enforcement in Tennessee can, and should, be an example to the rest of the nation in promoting deeper connections with the public we serve, as well as higher ethical and professional standards. Every person and every community matters to Tennessee Sheriffs, and we are committed to the safety and security of every community in every county in our state.
The Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association works diligently to provide up to date training, scholarship program, victim notification program, and works yearly with our state legislature to improve the lives of Tennesseans.
God bless our state, our citizens, and our law enforcement. I look forward to serving you during the coming year.
Sheriff Joe Guy, McMinn County
Message from our Finance Committee Chairman
For the past 34 years, I have been a member of the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association. There is no doubt in my mind the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association is better capable of serving its citizens today, than it has ever been.
It starts with the TSA Staff and their commitment to this association. Our Executive Director, Terry Ashe, has done an outstanding job and has worked tirelessly along with the rest of the Staff. Participation in the Sheriffs’ Association by the Sheriffs and Chiefs are at an all-time high.
As the Finance Chairman, I want to assure our members that the dues and contributions made to the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association to support this organization are being managed and accounted for. I, along with the Finance Committee and the TSA Staff are constantly going over revenue and expenditures to insure accountability. Our membership continues to grow. I would like to take this time to personally thank all of our Associate Members for their generosity and for what they have done for this Association.
Sheriff Mike Wilson, Weakley County
Message from our Legislative Committee Chairman
The Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association was very active in the past legislature in promoting legislation to keep Tennessee safe. Approximately 500 bills were under constant review. Also, the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association was a participating member of the Tennessee Public Safety Coalition to represent Sheriffs, along with the Tennessee Chiefs of Police Association, and the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference.
We continue to support legislation for prosecution of defendants who make our communities unsafe and prey on our children.
The heroin and prescription drug epidemics are issues we will be fighting for the citizens of our state.
Asset forfeiture, a tool to punish drug dealers by taking away their financial benefits, is under constant review.
Legislative hearings are being conducted about use by police of body cameras. This very important topic will be thoroughly debated in the next legislative session.
The Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association continues to support excellent training for law enforcement all across our great state.
We want to thank the many honorary members across Tennessee who spoke to their Legislators and helped us pass these types of legislation and for your continued support of the TSA.
Message from our SRO Committee Chairman
The School Resource Officers Committee of the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association has partnered with the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovative Center to develop and instruct a School Resource Officer Course across the State of Tennessee. The goal of this endeavor is to provide law enforcement agencies with a standard curriculum at a reasonable cost so all School Resource Officers will receive the same instruction. Training has already begun across the State.
The Sheriffs want to take this opportunity to thank the Governor, State Representatives and Senators and our great citizens of Tennessee for their support of law enforcement in keeping our communities safe, but it is your membership that makes it possible to help protect the children in our educational facilities.
Sheriff Jeff Long, Williamson County
Message from our Corrections Committee Chairman
I am honored to serve this year as Chairman of the Corrections Committee. I feel, there are many issues that face each county jail across this state. The main issues are overcrowding, certification and the cost of the jail operation.
Our Committee partnered with the Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI) and other state agencies in the development of TCI’s “County Corrections Partnership” (CCP) Initiative. This initiative has been a huge success.
The TSA Corrections Committee partnered with the TCI and CTAS to develop the Revised Minimum Standards for Local Correctional Facilities in Tennessee. TSA and TCI also partnered in an annual training of these revised standards prior to implementation.
The Corrections Committee is always vigilant and mindful of new laws that place unfunded mandates on county jails which require additional local tax dollars from each county. This is a continual concern to each sheriff, chief and jail administrator.
Sheriff Bill Oldham, Shelby County, and I were appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to a State Task Force on sentencing and recidivism and we were both honored by this appointment. We have both pledged to work in a collaborative effort the find a working solution to reduce the repeat offender rate and improve the sentencing structure for the State of Tennessee.
Message from the Agriculture Crime Committee Chairman
I’m honored to be the Chairman of the Agriculture Crime Committee newly formed by the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association.
Sheriffs serve all citizens in Tennessee, and one important fact is our state has a large agriculture industry. Our farmers have experience some of the most trying times with the economy not to mention the farming related crimes that are perpetrated against the farming operations throughout the state, we have formed this committee to help address specific needs of those crimes that are carried out against the farmer. Approximately seventy percent of our sheriffs are engaged in some form of farming operations themselves, which helps them understand first and foremost the importance of programs such as Farmwatch and the many available resource that help farmers take proactive approach to crime prevention.
We are proud to partner with the State Department of Agriculture and their leadership along with other not-for-profit groups to give the Agriculture Community a voice in the industry. Most importantly the Tennessee Sheriffs are proud of the many farmers and agriculture related business people who have taken the lead in their own communities and who have reached out to us for assistance.
Sheriff Tim Fuller, Franklin County
Message from the Training Committee Chairman
The TSA Training Committee requests and receives suggestions from our Sheriffs, Chief Deputies and Jail Administrators on the training topics that they feel will better serve our law enforcement of all 95 counties across the State of Tennessee and also to ensure that all the training standards are met.
The Committee also strives to partner with Federal, State and Local Agencies to conduct proper training that meets the needs of our Sheriffs, Chief Deputies and Jail Administrators. This ensures the citizens that the Law Enforcement Administrator who represents them is getting the best training possible.
The TSA Training Committee members are committed to providing our law enforcement administration with the necessary training tools their duties require using state of the art training methods and best practices.
Sheriff Ron “Haus” Seals, Sevier County