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. The duties of the sheriff are described primarily in general law codified in the Tennessee Code Annotated and fall generally into three basic areas: 

  • Conservator of the peace/law enforcement
  • Civil process
  • Corrections