Sheriff Ron Abernathy has been a law enforcement officer for the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office since being hired by Sheriff Beasor Walker in 1988. He was promoted to Chief Deputy in 1998. He was appointed by Governor Riley to serve as Sheriff from 2008 – 2009. His first term as the Elected Sheriff began in January, 2015. He leads a force of approximately 215 employees. His jurisdiction covers 1,340 square miles and he oversees operation of a 540-bed nationally accredited jail facility. The Sheriff’s Office maintains criminal clearance rates above the national average with overall responsibilities that include Homicide, Criminal Investigations, Jail and Narcotics.
Sheriff Abernathy is a lifetime resident of Tuscaloosa County and a graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in Criminal Justice. Sheriff Abernathy also served in the United States Army as a Military Police Officer for over 10 years. He is a graduate of the distinguished FBI National Academy, Leadership Tuscaloosa and Leadership Alabama programs. He currently serves on the board of PRIDE (Parents Resource Institute Drug Education of Tuscaloosa) and Alabama One Credit Union. He has attended numerous seminars and specialty training schools, including U.S. Secret Service Protective Operations, Intermediate and Advanced ICS, Counterdrug Special Weapons and Tactics, Criminal Justice Management Information Executive Development Series Part III and various Terrorism and Homeland Security Training Programs on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Abernathy has received several awards, including 2003 Mental Health Community Excellence Award, 2006 Tuscaloosa County Officer of the Year Award, 2017 Tuscaloosa County FOP Leadership Award, and numerous Sheriff’s Certificate of Merit Awards.