Here's To Retirement

After 44 Years Of Service, Sheriff Dusty Rhoades Says Hello To Retirement

Retirement is a time to say goodbye to years of hard work and hello to a new beginning, embracing all the new adventures to come. After years of commitment to work, retirees dare to go somewhere different, somewhere unfamiliar.

Williamson County Sheriff Dusty Rhoades is at the fork in the road, where it is time to say goodbye to a job well done and hello to a new page in the chapter of his life.

“It’s time to go. It’s a New Year. A new chapter in my life,” says Sheriff Dusty, “It’s time to give the reins to somebody else.”

Sheriff Dusty is a West Tennessee native and has served Williamson County Tennessee for 44 years as sheriff. He says he always wanted to be in law enforcement from the time he was young.

He wanted to help people and that’s just what he did. He studied criminal justice at Middle Tennessee State University. Then he started as a deputy sheriff and worked the road for many years. His career in law enforcement began in Williamson County on June 1, 1979, under Sheriff Fleming Williams, who was first elected sheriff in 1970, coming into law enforcement after a background in the oil business. “Working the road” in law enforcement is slang for patrolling the roads. He then worked his way up the ranks. He was elected as sheriff in 1979, where he served respectfully until he retired at the end of December 2023, and is on to the next step.

He is a modest man for all that he has accomplished within those 44 years.

Sheriff Dusty’s office was a showroom of his awards, trophies, badges, certifications and commemorations; the memorabilia of his time in service proudly displayed around him. He is proud of his work and proud of his team of coworkers, officers and deputy sheriffs. The walls captured his time serving the community. Among the many honors, hanging on one of the office’s walls is a photo of when he met President George Bush. Another photo is of the director of the FBI presenting him with an honor. 

Sheriff Dusty is a member of the Captain John Easley Law Enforcement Hall of Fame. To be recommended for the Hall of Fame, one must have served 30 years in law enforcement. This sheriff has served beyond those years in great dedication.

He says the highlight of his job is helping people. “When people call, we come. That’s what we’re here for, to help them,” he adds.  

Sheriff Dusty says he has seen some serious times while working in law enforcement, but that has not stopped him from trying to make a difference. Even during COVID-19, he was hard at work and became a certified public administrator.

During that troubling time, he likes to jokingly recall, “We may doze, but we never close.” Working in law enforcement is a dangerous job and it is a job that never stops. Since Sheriff Dusty has been elected, citizens have not seen one death of his team of deputy sheriffs. He prioritized his community and team of sheriffs with commitment and appreciation.

Upon his retirement Sheriff Dusty, “wishes all [his] deputies success in the future. I’ve got a lot of people to thank, my wife and the sheriffs that kept me on,” he says. "I’m fortunate that a handful of employees who joined around the same time I did were still here serving with me."

He says his wife and chores will fill up the time during retirement. He may do some traveling out West and wants to vacation anywhere there is a beach. Among his hobbies he admits he might start up again is golf, which he hasn’t played in years. "I like tennis and racquetball as well."

He has a group of racquetball friends whom he has known for quite a long time. And, yes, he says he might even try his hand at the ever-popular pickleball. 

His wife, family, grandchild and dog are eagerly awaiting the time when they can see Sheriff Dusty more. And because his family lives right down the same street as Sheriff Dusty, he will get to see a whole lot more of them. They are proud of him for all that he has done. They have supported him all along the way. Sheriff Dusty is also happy to spend more time with them as well.

Retirement isn’t the end of the road; it is just a turn in the road. When one road comes to an end. There is always another road ahead waiting to be traveled. 

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