Sevier County’s hearts are deeply saddened to have lost an extraordinary Sheriff and loyal friend, Ron Seals.
An inspirational leader, he served our county with dedication and compassion for 49 years, leaving an indelible mark on our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sheriff Seals’ family and friends during this difficult time. Sheriff Seal’s legacy during his time of service will forever live on!
Below you will find a special thank you written by Ron Seals when he announced his retirement in Spring 2022:
To the Citizens of Sevier County,
After much prayer, consideration and reflection with God and my family, I have decided to retire as the Sheriff of Sevier County at the end of this term, August 31, 2022. I did not arrive at this decision easily and my heart is filled with gratitude and some sadness.
At the end of this term, I will have served the citizens of this great county for 49 years spanning across six decades. I am so grateful for the trust shown to me by the people of Sevier County. Each day I thank my Lord and Savior for the opportunity to serve as your Sheriff. I swore an oath and obligation to protect and serve the people of Sevier County and I believe that I have fulfilled that oath and promise to the best of my ability. To all the employees, both past and present, that I have had the honor and privilege to serve alongside, thank you for your service, your support, and your friendship. My hope was to lead an agency that felt more like a family and thanks to each of you, Wanda and I have enjoyed that very opportunity. I have been blessed to be a part of Sevier County. Thank you to the Sevier County Commission, both past and present, elected officials, and city leadership. This profession is all about relationships and mine with you will never be forgotten. I have been honored to know you and work alongside you all these years. Many of you know that I was recently diagnosed with cancer. While this recent news certainly played a part in my retirement decision, I want to assure you that I feel confident about the future of this agency.
In reflection of my last 49 years, please allow me to share with you some of the highlights of my career serving this great county. I am a native of Sevier County and grew up in the Sevierville community and made my home in the New Center area with my wife and family. I graduated from Sevier County High School in 1970. I attended Walters State Community College and graduated 1976 with an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. In 1973, I began my career in law enforcement with the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office. I was initially hired by the late Sevier County Sheriff Carmen L. Townsend. While employed with the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, I worked as a Dispatcher, Corrections Officer, Deputy Sheriff in the Patrol Division, and as a Sergeant in the Patrol Division. In 1977, I left the Sheriff’s Office and went to work for the Pigeon Forge Police Department. While at PFPD, I worked as a Police Officer in the Patrol Division, a Sergeant in the Patrol Division, and lastly as the Assistant Chief of the Police Department. In 1978, I attended and graduated from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy. In 1979, I returned to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office to serve as Deputy Chief over administration. I also served as the Jail Administrator, Chief Deputy, and in 2007, I was appointed as Sheriff after Sheriff Bruce R. Montgomery lost a long battle with cancer. I was re-elected to the same office in 2010, 2014, and 2018. I created a professional records division designed to store warrants, reports, and civil processes. I had the opportunity to be a part of the design and construction of the Sevier County Jail that opened in June of 1991. I managed the main jail expansion in 2002 and in that same year, transitioned our administrative offices of the Sheriff’s Office, the Records Division, the Criminal Investigation Division, and the Communications Division from their old location to its current location at 106 West Bruce Street, formerly the Temple Feed and Seed business. In 2007, I worked closely with the Sevier County Commission and the Sevier County Mayor’s Office to construct an additional correctional facility known as the Sevier County Jail Annex. I supervised the construction operations and coordinated with subcontractors and vendors in order to ensure timely completion. The Sevier County Jail (Annex) opened in April 2008, and I supervised the expansion in 2010. By this time, the agency had grown and expanded, which created the need for additional space. In 2010, we acquired the old Ambulance Service Building located at 735 Middle Creek Road. I redesigned and reconfigured the original blueprint and was able to move the Patrol Division, the Community Relations Office, the GIS Mapping Office, and the Video Forensics Unit into this building that is referred to as the Special Operations Center (S.O.C.). This expansion allowed our agency to better serve the citizens of this county. One of my proudest accomplishments while serving as Sheriff happened in 2014 when the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office received our accreditation with State of Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.
In 2012, I was named the Tennessee Sheriff of the Year by the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association. This award has a special meaning to me as I was selected by the other 94 Sheriffs that serve in Tennessee. I have been extremely honored and privileged to serve alongside the Sheriffs of the great state of Tennessee. I consider many of these men my closest friendsand I will always cherish our time serving together. Currently, I serve as the Chairman of the TSA Training Committee. In 2014, I was recognized by Walters State Community College with the Distinguished Alumni Civic Achievement Award for my involvement with WSCC as well as my service to the Sevier County community. In 2015, I was recognized bythe Humane Society of the United States and given the Humane Law Enforcement Award for leadership in combating illegal animal abuse. In 2016, I received the HEALAward from H.E.A.L. (Help, Educate, Address, Locate) of Sevier County for efforts to stop N.A.S. (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome). I am a 2008 graduate of Leadership Sevier, a member of the Mountain Star Lodge #197 F & A Masons, French Broad Lodge #588 F & A Masons, the Scottish Rite, and the Kerbela Shrine. I am a member of the Fraternal Order of Police-Smoky Mountain Lodge #31 and the Southern States Police Benevolent Association Smoky Mountain Chapter.
Thank you for trusting me to be your Sheriff for the last 14 years. I plan to enjoy my retirement here in this great county with the love of my life, my wife Wanda. My prayer is that this county will continue to grow and prosper yet remain the same wonderful family-oriented community that we all work to protect. May God Bless each of you and may God Bless Sevier County.
Ronald L. Seals