Deputy Commissioner | Chief of Staff Terry Ashe

Terry Ash

Terry Ashe serves as the Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Staff for the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. He is the top advisor to Commissioner Jeff Long and oversees the daily operations of the department.

Ashe brings 40 years of experience and knowledge to the department after a distinguished career in public safety. He served as Sheriff of Wilson County, Tennessee for 30 years, making him the longest serving Sheriff in the county’s history, and the second-longest serving Sheriff in Tennessee history. He worked with numerous state and federal task forces involving public safety, drug investigations, fugitive apprehensions, highway safety, traffic enforcement, impaired driving, and violent crime investigations including those in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security and the Tennessee Police Chiefs’ Association (TACP).

Ashe co-founded the 15th Judicial Drug Task Force, which was established in 1987. He was appointed by five Tennessee Governors to serve on major law enforcement and public safety boards and commissions. He was the first Sheriff in the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association’s history to be elected President in his first term. He served 29 continuous years on the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association Board of Directors and is currently Executive Director of the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association. Chief has served on the National Sheriff’s Association Board of State Executive Directors.

Ashe has a decorated military background having served in the United States Army 101st Airborne Division Infantry- Tour of Duty in the Republic of Vietnam, Fort Bragg, North Carolina 82nd Airborne Division Infantry, and the Tennessee Army National Guard 3/109 Armor Tank Division. He was awarded three Purple Hearts and one Bronze Star. In 1989, the 101st Congress honored Ashe by passing a resolution honoring his public service and military services, recognizing him as an American hero.

Chief Ashe graduated from numerous certified federal and state training law enforcement programs. He completed the designation of Certified Public Administrator from the University of Tennessee. Ashe earned an Associate’s Degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Criminal Justice, and a Bachelor’s Degree from University of the State of New York in Criminal Justice and Psychology.

He resides in Wilson County with his wife, Beth. They have three children and four grandchildren.