Law Enforcement: Sheriff

The office of sheriff is one of the county offices established by article VII, section 1 of the Constitution of Tennessee, and it is regulated by the general statutes found in title 8, chapter 8 of Tennessee Code Annotated.

The qualifications for the office of sheriff are more stringent than for most county offices. These qualifications are detailed in T.C.A. §8-8-102. Many of the duties of the sheriff are specified in T.C.A. §8-8-201. The sheriff’s salary is determined in accordance with T.C.A. §8-24-102.

The statutes authorizing the sheriff to petition the court with criminal jurisdiction for the employment of deputies and assistants and the setting of salaries for deputies and assistants are found in T.C.A. §8-20-101 et seq. Also, the sheriff may appoint such personnel as may be provided for in the budget adopted for the sheriff’s department. T.C.A. § 8-20-120.

For additional statutes relating to the sheriff, refer to the combined general index of Tennessee Code Annotated, volumes 14, 15, and 16, under specific topics relating to law enforcement, county jails and workhouses.

The following acts have no current effect but are included here for reference purposes since they once applied to the Grainger County Sheriff’s Office.


  1. Private Acts of 1825, Chapter 269, fixed and regulated the compensation of the Grainger County Sheriff to $800 per annum.
  2. Private Acts of 1825, Chapter 290, authorized the sheriff of Grainger County to appoint an additional deputy.
  3. Private Acts of 1833, Chapter 246, authorized the sheriff of Grainger County to appoint an additional deputy.

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Site last updated September 19, 2021 @ 5:41 pm; This content last updated May 8, 2011 @ 11:48 pm