Jim Ruth is a native of Bradley County where he graduated from Bradley Central High School. Following graduation he joined the US Army and completed a tour of duty in Vietnam.
Sheriff Ruth started his law enforcement career as a patrol officer at the Cleveland Police Department. He joined the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office in 1984 and has served in the patrol, criminal investigations and judicial services divisions and was the first supervisor of the Drug Enforcement Unit.
During his 40 years in the profession Ruth has held numerous supervisory and leadership positions including sergeant, lieutenant, captain and chief deputy. Sheriff Ruth was promoted to Captain in September 2006 after serving as senior lieutenant in the Judicial Services Division. During his career he served over 10 years as the BCSO SWAT Team Commander.

Sheriff Ruth holds an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Cleveland State Community College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and a master of Ministry Degree from Andersonville Theological Seminary.

Ruth is a graduate of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy and has completed over 1400 hours of  specialized training programs pertaining to all aspects of law enforcement supervision and operation.

His specialized training includes:

The FBI Law Enforcement Instructor Development School

The FBI and Chattanooga Police Bomb Investigations School

Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy Counter Terrorism School 

National Rifle Association’s Firearms Instructor Course

FBI Tactical / SWAT Training at Quantico, VA

US Army Counter-Sniper Training 

US Marshall’s Service Court Security School

University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Computer Training

US Secret Service Protective Operations Briefing and Dignitary Protection Seminar 

FBI Basic Fingerprinting School.

Ruth is a certified handgun instructor by the state of Tennessee who has conducted classes for thousands of Bradley County citizens seeking to obtain a handgun carry permit. Awards Ruth has received include Employee of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, and the Award of Valor, which he received in 1994. 

Sheriff Ruth and his wife Cathy live in Cleveland, Tennessee

sheriff jim ruth