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Sheriff Austin Swing seeks re-election

Posted 3/26/22

Bedford County Sheriff Austin Swing has announced his candidacy for re-election as Bedford County sheriff in the Republican Primary on May 3.

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Sheriff Austin Swing seeks re-election


Bedford County Sheriff Austin Swing has announced his candidacy for re-election as Bedford County sheriff in the Republican Primary on May 3.

A life-long resident of Bedford County, Swing is now serving his second term as sheriff. He supervises the entire operations of Bedford County Sheriff’s Department.

Over 100 county employees operate under his leadership, respectively in Bedford County Corrections, the workhouse, courtrooms/ security and schools/resource officers.

Swing spent over 40 years serving the community at Shelbyville Police Department, beginning his career as a patrolman.

In 1977, he was named the Jaycees’ Outstanding Young Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Working his way up through the ranks, he was named Shelbyville’s Chief of Police in 1993. Swing proudly notes that it was under his leadership the police department received its state accreditation.

In 2007, he was awarded Middle Tennessee Chief of the Year. He served as vice president and board member of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police and is a charter member of Tennessee Training Officers’ Association.

Sheriff Swing is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. He notes that he was the first ever law enforcement officer from Bedford County selected to attend this prestigious training institution. Less than 1% are selected.

In 2014, Swing was awarded a commendation and honored by the FBI for his law enforcement leadership. In addition to his duties as sheriff, he serves on the board of directors for the 17th Judicial Drug Task Force and is a member of the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association.

Swing attended one of the first Leadership Bedford classes offered. In 2016, he received the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce award for outstanding leadership in the community. He is a Paul Harris Fellow recipient through Rotary International.

Sheriff Swing graduated from Shelbyville Central High School. He has an associate of science degree from Motlow State Community College and attended the University of Virginia. He and his wife, Karen, attend First Baptist Church; they have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.

“Our Sheriff’s office runs on teamwork,” Swing said. “Not only from the dedicated men and women who serve here, but also from our partnership with this community. When coming into office, our goal was to move the sheriff’s office forward in both service and professionalism, which we have done. Our Standard Operations Procedure Manual has been updated and rewritten. We have increased courtroom security, increased school security, increased warrant service and increased training with an emphasis on leadership for our men and women.”

Swing added, “To create a safer environment for our employees, we have outfitted our deputies with updated body armor, including tasers and body cams, as well as new and uniformed side arms and patrol rifles, which was done with no expense to our taxpayers. Our audits have been without error the last 8 years.”

“I feel that one of the greatest assets as an agency are the men and women who work hard to keep our citizens safe. We patrol an average of 2,000 miles each day. In 2021 alone, there were over 800 drug charges in Bedford County. We will continue the fight. State-wide, we are well above the average for crimes cleared.”

Swing recently said, “It is an honor and privilege to serve as your Bedford County Sheriff. We will continue to move our department forward and work hard to keep our citizens safe. I humbly ask for your vote May 3rd in the Republican Primary.”

Editor’s note: Early voting in Bedford County is April 13-28.