Tom became interested in law enforcement as a career when he completed an internship in 1982 with The Rome Police Department while at West Rome High School. His supervisor was Elaine Snow who is still one of his career mentors to this day.

Sheriff Mike Thornton hired Tom in July 1989 as a Deputy Sheriff at The Floyd County Sheriff’s Office which was the beginning of his law enforcement career. He initially worked in the jail and eventually worked his way up to the warrant division serving warrants. Tom gained valuable experience working at the courthouse as Judge Salmon’s courtroom deputy. He was assigned to civil division, transports and in 1996 was promoted to Sergeant. After 8 years, Tom left the sheriff’s office to accept a position with The Georgia Department of Corrections.

Working for The Georgia Department of Corrections gave Tom a much broader range of experience working for a large state agency. He began as a Probation Officer and was then assigned to The Georgia Fugitive Squad as a Fugitive Investigator which allowed Tom the experience of tracking fugitives, escapees and serving high risk felony warrants. In 2002, he was asked to start a Security Threat Group Program for use in tracking gang members in and out of the Georgia Prison System. Tom was later promoted to Assistant Superintendent at Paulding Probation Detention Center in Dallas, Georgia.

In December 2004, Tom was asked by Tim Burkhalter to serve as his chief deputy over all operations at The Floyd County Sheriff’s Office where he faithfully served for 13 years. In 2005, he was accepted into The Georgia Law Enforcement Command College Program, becoming the first sheriff’s office employee to ever graduate from it in December 2006.

In 2009, Tom was selected by The FBI National Academy to attend training in Quantico, Virginia and had the honor of working with officers selected from around the world. Less than 1% of peace officers worldwide are ever accepted and graduate from the National Academy program. He graduated with Session #238 in September 2009 becoming the first ever employee of The Floyd County Sheriff’s Office to graduate from the program. Becoming friends with officers from around the country and the world and sharing experiences together for months was the pinnacle of his career. To this day, Tom still maintains many of the friendships and frequently sees them at conferences of The FBI National Academy Associates organization.

Tom has assisted with four different SPLOST projects and it is invaluable experience. He has been an integral part of the entire process from project planning, presenting to the SPLOST Committee for approval, successful project selection, bidding the project, not to mention shepherding it through to conclusion — and ALL UNDER BUDGET. This process allows local governments to accomplish needed million-dollar projects without raising your property taxes.


Integrity is the basic cornerstone of any government agency, particularly law enforcement. Law Enforcement officers, including the Sheriff and deputies, must maintain the trust of the public by upholding the laws which are in place to protect; and not infringe on the rights of each and every citizen.

As Sheriff, I understand that every law enforcement agency needs a strong, healthy work culture to operate effectively. A culture of accountability at the jail is of particular importance. Creating a system of internal checks and balances is critical to ensuring that all of our officers act with integrity.

A culture of accountability also builds trust between our officers (deputies) and the community that they serve and protect.

There are many different structures and layers of accountability in police work. But achieving a lasting culture of accountability begins with fostering a departmental culture that values integrity and ethics. And that begins with your Sheriff.


How well do you know Tom?

Tom has spent his entire life among the people of Rome and Floyd County.  How well does this community know him?

  • Maybe you have worshipped along-side his family at Trinity United Methodist Church, where he has served as chair of both the Finance and Staff Parish Committees.

  • Or, maybe you shared a table and light conversation with him at the Noon Optimist Club meetings for the past 13 years, where he served as the Lt. Governor and past president.

  • The County Commissioners, past and present interacted with him often regarding budgetary and other issues relating to the sheriff’s office and the jail. Those meetings are open to the public and usually televised.

  • You may have worked together in the Exchange Club of Rome (where he is a former board member).

  • Maybe you attended the over 40 church security training programs on nights and weekends that Tom has instructed over the past three years.

  • You may have been in Leadership Rome together; XV Graduating Class, sponsored by The Chamber of Commerce where he maintains those same friends.

  • Maybe you grilled hot dogs alongside Tom for the North Broad Youth Center children where he serves as a board member and community liaison.

  • Tom was on the gridiron every Friday night in the fall when in 1982 the West Rome Chieftain football team won the Georgia state football championship, where Tom was the team captain.

  • Or, maybe you’ve seen Tom mostly participating in one of his favorite activities, ringing the bell at Christmas for The Salvation Army, where he has served on the board for four years.

There are many, many other community and volunteer experiences you and he may have shared to make our county a better place to live: Floyd County Special Olympics, Camp Goodtimes, RFPRA Senior Inforum, Cops for Kids, North Broad Youth Center, etc.  You see, you have known Tom Caldwell a long time and that he has been involved in our community a long time before he decided to run for the honor of being our sheriff.

Tom has spent his entire life here.  If you don’t know who Tom Caldwell is, well then ask anyone who is affiliated with any of the church and community organizations listed above.


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Tom Caldwell for Sheriff

106 Westmore Road

Rome, GA 30165