Sheriff Bill Oldham (Click to view larger)

Sheriff Oldham began his career in Law Enforcement in 1972 entering the Memphis Police Academy in August. His first assignment was to Uniform Patrol South Precinct. He spent seven years in that assignment earning numerous commendations from the public and supervisors.

The next assignment was to the Anti-Crime Team where he performed surveillance, apprehension and decoy duties. Here he earned two MPD Officer of the Year awards; one from the Optimist Club and the other from our local Bar Association.

He served as a lieutenant, first line supervisor at the North Precinct, 3 years, and Beale Street Sub-station 2 years.

As a Captain he was in command of the Beale Street Sub-station, 1 year, then selected as the Executive Captain for 2 years at the North Precinct. During that time Director Holt selected him to do research work on several units of the MPD; a review of operations with recommendations on improvement.

As an Inspector he commanded Special Operations for a year and then was selected by Director Holt to command the Memphis Police Academy, serving in that capacity for three years. In that capacity he was selected to consult with the Memphis Metropolitan Association of Chiefs of Police.

As a Deputy Chief selected to lead the Division of Police Administration, he was appointed by Director Ivy to represent MPD on a task force formed by the FBI for the Major City Chiefs Association. He became a Charter member of the Law Enforcement Budgeting and Consulting Team. In that capacity he was asked to contribute white paper studies on Leadership, Training and Budgeting; published twice by the FBI for the Major City Chiefs Association.

He spent two years as Deputy Chief of Uniform Patrol District I. Then he served as Deputy Director for four years. During that time he was selected to attend the prestigious FBI National Executive Institute. Over 700 nominated from around the world from Executive Command, only thirty-two were selected. The class project was the re-unification of the Police Service Guarda of Northern Ireland. Named Interim Director and served nine months prior to retiring.

In 2002 he was selected to serve as Chief Deputy for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office serving in that capacity until 2010. He was elected in 2010 and began his first term as Sheriff leading an organization of over 2000 employees. Leading the Sheriff’s Office to prestigious achievements in attacking crime, a model Jail and developed one of the most respected Training Academies in the South. In 2013 for his work in the community he was named Citizen of the Year by the Northeast Optimist Club.

Under his guidance the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office received and attained elite status by possessing accreditations for Law Enforcement, Jails, and Medical from Accrediting Agencies. While holding those awards the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office also was awarded the prestigious Tri-Arc status for Accreditation in Law Enforcement, Training and Communications. Becoming at that time one of only two agencies in the Nation to attain both sets of Accreditations.

In 2014 he received the prestigious Ronald Reagan award presented by the Young Republicans. In 2015 he was nominated and selected by his peers, the other 94 Sheriffs of Tennessee as Sheriff of the Year for the State of Tennessee.

Sheriff Oldham leads by example and has established a great rapport with other law enforcement leaders and agencies, the community, faith based organizations and the people of Shelby County and the greater Mid-South.

He has been selected by his peers to serve in every office of the Memphis Metropolitan Association of Chiefs of Police. He has contributed to the community serving on various Boards. He coached for over thirty years. He has served as a mentor and counselor of young men and women.

Selected by the Diocese of Memphis to serve on their Renaissance in Education Task Force and has served on the City Credit Union for over twenty-six years, for four of those as Chairman of the Board.

Governor Haslam appointed him to the Tennessee Corrections Board of Control in 2011. His peers have elected him Chairman and he continues to serve in that capacity. In 2015 Governor Haslam selected him as one of 23 leaders from across the State to work on a committee to address Truth in Sentencing and Recidivism. The end result would be recommendation for the Governor to consider.

Married, father of three children and a proud grandfather of five. He and his wife of 43 years, Jean, live in Memphis and are parishioners of St. Louis Catholic Church.

His full list of awards and accolades are too numerous to list.

Contact the Sheriff

Phone: 901-222-5500
Fax: 901-222-5504

Email the Sheriff

Mailing Address:
201 Poplar Ave. 9th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103