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The office of sheriff is ancient in origin; its beginning can be traced back centuries to medieval England. The office of sheriff has been provided for in each of Tennessee's three constitutions (1796, 1835 and 1870) and was retained in the latest amendment in 1978. The sheriff is elected to a four-year term in the August general election in the same year in which the governor is elected. Tenn. Const., art. VII, § 1; T.C.A. § 2-3-202. Smith v. Plummer, 834 S.W.2d 311, 313 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1992) (Sheriffs are constitutional officers.).

Persons Ineligible for the Office of Sheriff

No member of the General Assembly shall be nominated or commissioned, nor shall any practicing attorney be obligated, to act as sheriff. T.C.A. § 8-8-101.

For additional information about the Office of Sheriff, see Law Enforcement and Jail Administration under Public Safety.