Sheriff William “Bill” Oldham took office as Shelby County Sheriff on September 1st, 2010.
Sheriff Oldham is a native Memphian. He graduated from Catholic High School for Boys and attended Memphis State University. He is a graduate of the 33rd Session of the Memphis Police Academy where he began his career in law enforcement with the Memphis Police Department in 1972. He worked his way up the ranks, eventually retiring in 2000 as Interim-Director. He served in many roles with MPD, including Commander of the Memphis Police Academy, Deputy Director, District One Uniform Patrol Chief, Beale Street Substation Commander and North Precinct Uniform Patrol, Executive Captain.
In 2002, Sheriff Oldham was appointed as Chief Deputy for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office where he served until 2010. Under his leadership the law enforcement division achieved national accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement. He also instituted Data Smart Policing, stressing the importance of field input from all divisions in concert to address crime, leveraging technology to reduce the crime rate.
Sheriff Oldham serves on the City of Memphis Credit Union Board of Directors, where he has served as Chairman for four terms during his twenty-five year tenure.
He is a past President of the Memphis Metropolitan Association of Chiefs of Police and an active member. He is a former member of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police and a current member of the Tennessee Sheriffs Association. Sheriff Oldham is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriffs’ Association. He is a Charter member of the F.B.I.’s Law Enforcement Budgeting Advisory Group. Sheriff Oldham is a graduate of the 21st Session of the F.B.I.’s National Executive Institute.
Sheriff Oldham is very involved within his church community. He and his wife are members of St. Louis Catholic Church. His primary focus has been as a youth sports coach, where his sense of teamwork and fair play serve as a fine example for the children he works with. Additionally, he has served on the Advisory Council for Education at Bishop Byrne Middle & High School.
Bill Oldham and his wife Jean, married since 1972, have three children and five grandchildren.
In 2011 he accepted an appointment from Governor Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Corrections Institute Board of Control as a Sheriff representative and has served as Chairman of the Board of Control for the past two years.
On May 1, 2013, the Northeast Memphis Optimist Club, 2013 Respect for Law Program recognized Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham as CITIZEN OF THE YEAR.