DeKalb County Sheriff's Department
Sheriff Patrick Ray

100 Public Square, Smithville, Tennessee 37166-1723

Office:  (615) 597-4935  -  Non Emergency: (615) 215-3000

Anonymous tip line: (615) 464-6400

Emergency Calls Only (911)  

Sheriff Patrick Ray

It is a distinct honor to serve the citizens of DeKalb County. I am exceptionally proud of the fine men and women of the Sheriff's Office who strive each day to keep the peace. They risk their lives each day to ensure the safety of our community.

As your Sheriff, I am committed to providing honest, fair, efficient, effective, professional and results oriented service to the citizens of DeKalb County while managing resources effectively to prevent and reduce crime.

We are trying to provide as much information as possible on this website to better serve you the citizens of Dekalb County. Hopefully you will visit all the menu tabs to the left and read the information.

As a means to assure quality service by the Sheriff's Office, I need your evaluation and comments as they relate to the way we responded to calls from you in the past, and/or your evaluation and comments concerning your impression of the Sheriff's Office and the manner in which we provide service.

Please take a few moments to complete the Neighborhood Attitude Survey. Your response will be personally reviewed by me, and will be used to assist us in determining how to best enhance our service to the community.

I would like to thank you in advance for completing and submitting the online questionnaire.

Patrick Ray, DeKalb County Sheriff


Duties include crime prevention, investigation of criminal activity and the arrest of criminals. Proper disposal of contraband, abandoned motor vehicles, and unlawful weapons. Supervision of the jail and inmates. Civil duties include keeping order in the courts and serving all process handed down by the courts. The office of sheriff is mandated by the Constitution of the State of Tennessee.

Mission Statement 

The mission of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office is to preserve the peace, protect life and property, prevent crime, apprehend criminals, recover lost or stolen property, deliver consistent and humane treatment to those under our care and custody and to enforce in a fair and impartial manner all Federal, State and County Laws.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and its staff will serve the public by direction, counsel, and in other ways that do not interfere with the discharge of our Law Enforcement responsibilities.  The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office will respect and protect the rights of individuals and perform their service with honesty, zeal, courage, fidelity and sound judgment.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office recognizes that no law enforcement agency can operate at its maximum potential without the support of the citizens that it serves.  Essential to the success of our mission is meeting the needs of our community through service to our community, interaction with our citizens, being community based problem solvers, adhering to high ethical standards of conduct and administering not only the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law.

Law Enforcement Code Of Ethics

As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect and uphold the Constitutional rights and freedoms of all men to liberty, equality and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department.  Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty. 

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions.  With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities. 

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service.  I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession. law enforcement.


The Office of Sheriff is one of antiquity. It is the oldest law enforcement office known within the common-law system and it has always been accorded great dignity and high trust. For the most part, the Office of Sheriff evolved of necessity. Were it not for laws which require enforcing, there would have been no necessity for the Sheriff. There would have been no need for the development of police administration, criminology, criminalists, etc. This is not the case, however. Man learned quite early that all is not orderly in the universe. All times and all places have generated those who covet the property of their neighbors and who are willing to expropriate this property by any means. As such, man's quest for equity and order gave birth to the Office of Sheriff, the history of which begins in the Old Testament and continues through the annals of Judeo-Christian tradition. Indeed, there is no honorable law enforcement authority in Anglo-American law so ancient as that of the County Sheriff. And today, as in the past, the County Sheriff is a peace officer entrusted with the maintenance of law and order and the preservation of domestic tranquility.

Sheriffs have served and protected the English-speaking peoples for a thousand years. The Office of Sheriff and the law enforcement, judicial and correctional functions he performs are more than 1000 years old. The Office of Sheriff dates back at least to the reign of Alfred the Great of England, and some scholars even argue that the Office of Sheriff was first created during the Roman occupation of England.

Around 500 AD, Germanic tribes from Europe (called the Anglo-Saxons) began an invasion of Celtic England which eventually led over the centuries to the consolidation of Anglo-Saxon England as a unified kingdom under Alfred the Great late in the 9th Century. Alfred divided England into geographic units called "shires", or counties.

In 1066, William the Conqueror defeated the Anglo-Saxons and instituted his own Norman government in England. Both under the Anglo-Saxons and under the Normans, the King of England appointed a representative called a "reeve" to act on behalf of the king in each shire or county. The "shire-reeve" or King's representative in each county became the "Sheriff" as the English language changed over the years. The shire-reeve, or Sheriff, was the chief law enforcement officer of each county in the year 1000 AD. He will still have the same function in the United States in the year 2000 AD.

The concepts of "county" and "Sheriff" were essentially the same as they had been during the previous 900 years of English legal history. Because of the English heritage of the American colonies, the new United States adopted the English law and legal institutions as its owner.

Clearly, the Sheriff is the only viable officer remaining of the ancient offices, and his contemporary responsibility as conservator of the peace has been influenced greatly by modern society. As the crossbow gave way to the primitive flintlock the Sheriff is not unaccustomed to change. But now, perhaps more than ever before in history, law enforcement is faced with complex, moving, rapid changes in methodology, technology, and social attitudes. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in his THE VALUE OF CONSTITUTIONS, "the Office of Sheriff is the most important of all the executive offices of the county."

(The term of office was two years, with a limit of three consecutive terms, until 1978) 

Name and time period:
Pleasant A. Thomason 1833-1842
James McGuire 1842-1845
John Allen 1845-1848
John L. Dearman 1848-1852
Ezekiel W. Taylor, Sr. 1852-1856
John Donnell 1856-1858
J. Y. Stewart 1858-1860
John Hallum 1860-1862
Hezekiah Love 1862-1864
Wm. L. Hathaway 1865-1868
Charles J. Hill 1868-1870
James Henry Blackburn 1870-1874
M. F. Doss 1874-1878
Charles S. Frazier 1882-1884
Ben M. Merritt 1880-1882
Charles S. Frazier 1882-1884
Huston S. Gill 1884-1888
Wm. H. C. Lassiter 1888-1892
Silas F. Anderson 1892-1896
Ben M. Merritt 1896-1898
Louis Merritt 1898
John T. Odom 1898-1902
Barnabas Taylor 1902-1904
L. Everett Love 1904-1908
George C. Puckett 1908-1912
Amon B. Frazier 1912-1916
George C. Puckett 1916-1920
Amon B. Frazier 1920-1922
J. Harlie Cantrell 1922-1926
Fred E. Terry 1926-1930
Albert F. Foutch 1930-1932
Charlie D. Eller 1932-1934
John C. (Chub) Hill 1934-1938
Will Vickers 1938-1940
Alex O. Parker 1940-1942
John C. (Chub) Hill 1942-1946
Will Bullard 1946-1948
C. H. Malone 1948-1954
James Keith 1954-1958
Harrison Puckett 1958-1960
Harold Frazier 1960-1964
W. H. Bing 1964-1966
Doris Bing 1966
Will Hall Windham 1966-1970
Kelly Walker 1970-1972
Creston Bain 1972-1976
Dwight Mathis 1976-1986
Kenneth Pack 1986-2002
Lloyd Emmons  2002-2006
Patrick Ray  2006-Present

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