More than 40 new sheriffs from across the state, including new Pickett County Sheriff Dana Dowdy, gathered in Nashville recently to learn about and discuss all of the issues they will be facing in their new roles as they took office on September 1.
Newly elected sheriffs in Tennessee are required to attend a New Sheriff’s School, which has historically been one week and addresses the duties regarding the office. The UT County Technical Assistance Service, Tennessee Law Enforcement Academy and Tennessee Sheriff’s Association conduct the week-long school, held August 16-20 in Metro Nashville-Davidson County.
The New Sheriff’s School provides an overview and orientation to the duties of the office of sheriff in Tennessee. Under T.C.A. § 8-8-102(c), persons elected to the office of sheriff after Aug. 1, 2006, must successfully complete the New Sheriff’s School, regardless of previous law enforcement experience. The academy has opened the school to chief deputies and jail administrators.
New this year is a component that introduces jail specific training. This training will be held during a week in September and presented by the National Institute of Corrections. UT County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) public safety consultants reached out to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Corrections to introduce a jail specific concept of training new sheriffs. The program received approval from the National Institute of Corrections as well as the Tennessee Law Enforcement Academy, Tennessee Sheriff’s Association and Tennessee Corrections Institute. The program is designed for administrators of medium-sized jails and is applicable to sheriffs.