Retired Sheriff Bruce Harris Passes Away
(Paulding County, GA) The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office mourns the loss of retired Sheriff Bruce Harris. Sheriff Harris passed away surrounded by his family at Kennestone Hospital on Sunday, January 12, 2020, at approximately 7:40 PM.
Sheriff Bruce Harris was a native Paulding Countian and loved his home and the people of Paulding County. He graduated from West Georgia College in 1969 with a degree in Education. He later returned and earned an add-on degree in Criminal Justice when it became available as a degree program. After he graduated in 1969, he worked as a teacher in the Paulding County School District. In 1975 Sheriff Harris realized his true calling and went to work for the Georgia State Patrol. Sheriff Harris graduated from Trooper School in 1976 and eventually came back to work as a Trooper in Paulding County.
Sheriff Harris worked for the Georgia State Patrol for nearly 18 years. In 1992, Harris ran for Sheriff of Paulding County and was elected by the citizens. He took over an agency that was in desperate need of professionalism and reform. Sheriff Harris took office as the Sheriff of Paulding County on January 1, 1993.
Throughout his career, Sheriff Harris helped modernize the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office. One of his first tasks was to create a standard operating procedure when there was not one before. He went on to overcome many obstacles in his career which helped shape the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office into one of the largest and most professional Sheriff’s Offices in the State of Georgia. Sheriff Harris is directly responsible for the creation of the following units/programs/events during his tenure as Sheriff:
- S.W.A.T. Team -Crisis Negotiation Team
- Honor Guard
- K-9 Unit
- Youth Services Unit
- D.A.R.E. Unit
- School Resource Officers
- Crimes Against Children Unit
- Technical Services Unit (Crime Scene Investigators)
- Polygraph Unit -Silver Comet Trail Patrol
- Haralson-Paulding Drug Task Force (HPDTF)
- Training Division
- Field Training Officer (FTO) Program
- Office of Professional Standards
- Public Information Officer
- Sheriff’s Office Social Media Pages
- DUI Task Force
- H.E.A.T. Unit
- Crime Suppression Unit (CSU)
- Inmate Workforce Unit
- Cops for Kids Christmas Shopping Program
- Cops for Kids Golf Tournament
- Lamar Hunton Memorial Motorcycle Ride for Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes
Sheriff Harris served in many different capacities on boards and organizations during his career. He served on several boards within the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association and numerous others both locally and statewide. At the direction of then-Speaker of the House Tom Murphy, Sheriff Harris served on the Georgia Board of Public Safety for many years.
Sheriff Bruce Harris served as the Sheriff of Paulding County from January 1, 1993, until he retired on December 31, 2008. Harris served four terms (16 years) and is recognized as the longest-serving Sheriff in Paulding County history. He was the 47th Sheriff in the county’s 188-year history.
Bruce, as he was called by many, was beloved by so many people in Paulding County. He was always available and seemed to listen to his law enforcement radio both day and night. He would show up on a scene regardless of whether it was on a holiday or even in the middle of the night. He was a Sheriff for the people and was an excellent leader.
Sheriff Harris’ funeral arrangements are being handled by Clark’s Funeral Home in Hiram, Georgia. He will be laid to rest in the Dallas Memory Gardens Cemetery near his home in downtown Dallas, Georgia.
We will never forget the path he paved for those of us at the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office. He made Paulding County a better place because he was the Sheriff. Sheriff Bruce Harris “01”, will forever be 10-7....10-42.