Sheriff William “Bill” Oldham took office as Shelby County Sheriff on September 1st, 2010.
Sheriff Oldham is a native Memphian. He graduated from Catholic High School for Boys and attended Memphis State University. He is a graduate of the 33rd Session of the Memphis Police Academy where he began his career in law enforcement with the Memphis Police Department in 1972. He worked his way through the ranks, eventually retiring in 2000 as Interim-Director. He served in many roles with MPD; Patrol Officer, Anti-Crime Detective, Lieutenant North Precinct, Beale Street Sub-Station Commander, Executive Captain North Precint, Inspector in Charge of the Training Academy, Deputy Chief Police Administration, Deputy Chief District One Uniform Patrol, Deputy Director Police Operations. He has received the following Awards - Memphis Police Officer of the Year by the Optimist Club, Memphis Police Officer of the Year by the Memphis and Shelby County Bar Association, and Commander of the Month by The Insurors of Memphis.
In 2002, Sheriff Oldham was appointed as Chief Deputy for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office where he served until 2010. Under his leadership the law enforcement division achieved national accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement. He also instituted Data Smart Policing, stressing the importance of field input from all divisions in concert to address crime, leveraging technology to reduce the crime rate.
In 2011 he accepted an appointment from Governor Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Corrections Institute Board of Control as a Sheriff Representative and has served as Chairman of the Board of Control for the past three years.
Under his leadership the Shelby County Sheriff's Office received the prestigious "TRI ARC" Award signifying Accreditation for Law Enforcement, the Training Academy and Communications. Already possessing the Triple Crown Award, this made the Shelby County Sheriff's Office one of the most decorated law enforcement agencies in the country.
On May 1, 2013, the Northeast Memphis Optimist Club, Respect for Law Program recognized Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham as CITIZEN OF THE YEAR.
In 2014 he was appointed to the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance as a Tennessee Representative for the Cross Boundary Corrections information Exchange Policy Academy by Tennessee Department of Corrections and Governor Bill Haslam.
Sheriff Oldham serves on the City of Memphis Credit Union Board of Directors, where he has served as Chairman for four terms during his twenty-seven year tenure.
He is a past President of the Memphis Metropolitan Association of Chiefs of Police and an active member. He is a former member of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police and a current member of the Tennessee Sheriffs Association. Sheriff Oldham is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriffs’ Association. He is a Charter member of the F.B.I.’s Law Enforcement Budgeting Advisory Group. Sheriff Oldham is a graduate of the 21st Session of the F.B.I.’s National Executive Institute.
Sheriff Oldham is very involved within his church community. He and his wife are members of St. Louis Catholic Church. His primary focus has been as a youth sports coach, where his sense of teamwork and fair play serve as a fine example for the children he worked with. He coached at St. Joseph's, St. Paul's, Bishop Byrne and St. Louis. Additionally, he has served on the Advisory Council for Education at Bishop Byrne Middle & High School.
Bill Oldham and his wife Jean, married since 1972, have three children and five grandchildren.