MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold has announced he will seek re-election during the Republican Party primary slated for May.
"I sincerely thank the voters of Rutherford County for giving me the privilege to serve as your sheriff for the past four years," Arnold said Tuesday in a press release. "As sheriff, I have strived to provide the best trained (Rutherford County) Sheriff's Office with employees who are dedicated to serving citizens in every way, from the school resource officers keeping children safe at school to deputies answering calls to detectives investigating crimes."
Arnold said he has strived to oversee the most efficient Sheriff's Office in Tennessee while spending taxpayer dollars in a responsible way.
Arnold has already gained the backing of several well-known Republican officials, including state Rep. Rick Womick, who contends Arnold has successfully reduced overall spending while still being able to launch several programs designed to provide enhanced law enforcement operations and improve community relations.
He said Arnold should be commended for being "an exceptional steward" of taxpayer money, saying he deserves to be re-elected.
"He has served Rutherford County well," Womick said. "His dedication and commitment to Rutherford County citizens is second to none."
As a result of conservative fiscal management, Arnold pointed out that he has returned $1.8 million to the county general budget from unused portions of the Sheriff's Office operating budget and saved $1 million by obtaining a donation of used equipment, computers and furniture from Middle Tennessee Medical Center, now known as Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital.
He also touted his development of the Garden of Hope through a partnership with Middle Tennessee University to teach inmates how to grow their own food. Produce is served to inmates. The garden is funded by donations and proceeds from recycling.
Arnold also implemented community-based programs, such as the Senior Citizens Awareness Network and Criminal Intelligence and Analysis Unit, which marks trends in county crime and prepares crime maps for area residents in an effort to reduce criminal activity, in addition to other initiatives.
The lifelong Rutherford County resident joined the Sheriff's Office in 1999 as a correctional officer, before being promoted to a patrol deputy and eventually a school resource officer.
He is a graduate of the National Sheriff's Institute, Sam Houston State University's Correctional Management Large Jail Operations, various law enforcement leadership courses from the University of Tennessee and the University of Louisville and Leadership Rutherford.
"Serving Rutherford County is an honor, and I look forward to continuing our reforms and improvements," Arnold said. "I depend on our dedicated team of employees. They are motivated and focused on reforming every aspect of the Sheriff's Office to provide the best Sheriff's Office possible."
If elected, Arnold said he would "continue to serve Rutherford County citizens with energy and enthusiasm and with safety as my No. 1 priority."
-- Marie Kemph, firstname.lastname@example.org