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Sheriff Qualifications


  • Must conform to all general qualifications

  • No member of the General Assembly nor practicing attorney may serve as Sheriff

  • Must file form SS-3064 with the county election commission with the nominating petition affirming the following facts:

  • Must be a citizen of the United States

  • Must be at least (25) years of age prior to the date of qualifying for the election

  • Must be a qualified voter of the county

  • Must have a High School Diploma or its equivalent as recognized by the Tennessee State Board of Education

  • Must not have been convicted of or pleaded guilty (including nolo contendere) to any felony charge or any violation of any federal or state laws or city ordinances relating to force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor or controlled substances; so long as said violation involves an offense that consists of moral turpitude a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence;

  • Must be fingerprinted and have the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation make a search of local, state, and federal fingerprint files for any criminal record. Fingerprints are to be taken under the direction of the TBI. It shall be the responsibility of the TBI to forward all criminal history results to the POST Commission for evaluation of qualifications;

  • Must not have been released, separated or discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States with a Dishonorable or Bad Conduct Discharge, or as a consequence of conviction at a court martial for either state or federal offense;

  • Must have been certified by a qualified professional in the psychiatric or psychological fields to be free of all apparent mental disorders as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd Edition (DSM III) or its successor, of the American Psychiatric Association; and

  • Must possess a current and valid peace officer certification as issued by the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, as provided in Section 38-8-107, as defined in Chapter 8 of Title 8, within (12) months prior to the close of qualification for the election for the office of sheriff. TCA 8-8-102 (b), TCA 8-8-101

In the event that certification for peace officer is inactive or no longer valid, proof of the intent to run for the office of sheriff shall be presented to the POST Commission for approval to take the POST certification examination, provided all requirements are met as set forth in subdivision (1) through (8) of this subsection and those set by the Commission (this entire section doesn’t apply to Metro governments where the sheriff doesn’t have law enforcement powers).


Any person seeking the office of sheriff shall file with the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, either prior to the qualification deadline for such office, or after filing the qualifying petition for such office, an affidavit sworn to and signed by the candidate affirming that the candidate meets the requirements of this section. If such affidavit is not filed with the POST Commission by the withdrawal deadline for the office of sheriff, such candidate’s name shall not be placed on the ballot.


The Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission shall verify POST certification on any person seeking the office of sheriff who meets these provisions. The original notarized verification form from the POST, along with such person’s nominating petition shall be filed with the county election commission. In the event that a person seeks the election to the office of sheriff by the County Legislative Body to fill a vacancy in office, such verification must be filed with the County Clerk prior to the election. TCA 8-8-102(c)


Not withstanding any provision of this act to the contrary, a current and valid Peace Officer Certification issued by the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission or training that is approved by or meets the standard on minimum hours required to be certified by the POST Commission is not a requirement for a person to initially qualify for election to the office of sheriff. However, if such a person qualifies to run for the office of sheriff and is elected to the office, such person shall be required to enroll in the first recruit training program offered by the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy available to such person after taking office. Any cost associated with obtaining such POST certification shall be paid by the county. For such person to qualify for the office of sheriff in any subsequent election, the person must have completed such recruit training program and have obtained POST certification during such person’s first term of office as sheriff. TCA 8-8-102(e)(1)


Post Commission certification listed in item 8 above is not necessary for a person to initially run for sheriff. However, they must complete POST certification during their first term (4 years) or they cannot qualify to run for a second term. TCA 8-8-102(c)


General Information (615) 741-4461
Exam Schedule (615) 741-4448
TBI (615) 741-0430
Tn. Sheriff’s Assoc. (615) 885-7511

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