940 New Salem Highway
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
History of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department
The first Rutherford County Sheriff was Samuel McBride, who served from 1804-1806. Since that time, many changes have occurred. The Sheriff’s Office has evolved over these years from being the residence of the Sheriff to a full fledged technological center of information and enforcement of all crimes and specializations of units to enforce local, state and federal laws.
To date, there have been 48 Sheriffs serving Rutherford County. We are proud to display their names and dates of service at the Sheriff’s Office.
Historically, Sheriffs who were elected in the State of Tennessee before 1980 were allowed to serve only three 2-year terms with a maximum of six years. At the end of the third term, Sheriffs could not run again until one term had expired. Sheriff Craig Snell, who was elected in 1976, was elected again in 1978 and would have run again in 1980 for his final 2-year term. However, state law changed in 1980 which allowed Sheriffs to run for 4-year terms unlimited.
Everyone had to perform multiple tasks. While there was a dedicated cook, all hands had to help take care of prisoners, dispatch, patrol, etc. Most shifts saw fewer than three cars on the road covering our 620+ square mile county.