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Press Release

Sheriff-Elect Austin Garrett Announces New Chief of Staff


Hamilton County, TN – Sheriff-Elect Austin Garrett announces Ron Bernard as the new Chief of Staff for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

Chief of Staff Bernard will be responsible for directing the day-to-day operations of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office’s administration such as Human Resources, Finance, Information Technology, Maintenance, and FUSE.

Ron recently completed his fifteenth year with the HCSO and has over twenty-five years of management experience. Since September of 2018 he has held the position of Director of Information Technology and Finance for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. Chief of Staff Bernard began his career with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in 2007 as the Information Systems Manager.

Ron has successfully led numerous multimillion dollar projects throughout both his tenure at the HCSO and his professional career. Some of the many successful projects he has overseen include the consolidation of the downtown Hamilton County Jail and the Silverdale Detention Center, including transitioning the privately run facility to a Sheriff’s Office county run facility. Ron was instrumental in the implementation of a new structured pay plan for sworn personnel and continues to help lead the ongoing transition and development of personnel as a result of the consolidation of the Silverdale Detention Center. In addition to these projects, he has also been responsible for multiple technological advancement for the HCSO.

During his leadership as Director of Information and Finance, the HCSO has stayed within budget and has experienced stellar audit reviews. Ron considers himself a person of service and action who helps drive the vision of the sheriff in support of his colleagues and law enforcement operations.

“For the last three and half years, I have worked directly with Chief of Staff Bernard and observed his leadership, experience, and judgement in all areas of our administration. Ron was responsible for leading the Transition Team over the Silverdale Detention Center which will continue to be a monumental task into the near future. Throughout not only the Silverdale Transition, but his tenure at the HCSO, Ron has shown extraordinary fiscal management and administrative acumen. I know he will continue to excel serving as my Chief of Staff and support me in accomplishing my vision for this agency as my administration moves forward,” stated Sheriff-Elect Austin Garrett.

Ron is a graduate of both Bryan College and Lakeland Community College. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Business Administration - Organizational Management and an Associate of Applied Business degree majoring in Information Systems. Ron has been married to his wife Belinda since 1987 and together they have four children and reside in Ooltewah.

Ron and his wife are members of The Crossing Church in Chattanooga. He stays involved with his church family by serving in youth ministry, participating in prayer groups, and has previously chaired the Staff Parish Relations Committee for Red Bank Methodist Church. He and his wife Belinda have served youth (several of which remain in their lives) for many years as adoptive parents, foster parents, and they have hosted several foreign exchange students.

Chief of Staff Bernard will transition to his new role on September 1, 2022.

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Phone: (423) 209-7000