W.G. Campbell has been named to fill Bird’s post as interim chief deputy, according to an announcement by Sheriff Ruth Friday evening.
The memorial service was held in the Bradley County Criminal Courtroom after threatening weather forced attendees inside. The Rev. Oliver McMahan addressed a full courtroom.
The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, whom Bird had been instrumental in helping choose their formal dress attire, presented a flag to Bird’s wife Colleen.
From beret to boots, Bird and others on the Honor Guard team worked to complete their uniform — and ironically, they were tearfully a significant part of their fallen chief’s funeral.
According to Campbell, the uniforms the guard wore had just been completed within the past few months.
The brief memorial service allowed officials to remember Bird and his 50 years in law enforcement.
Bird was diagnosed just weeks ago with melanoma.
It wasn’t treatable and he travelled to Florida to be with his children during his last few days.
Bird died peacefully in their presence March 28.
Ruth explained that Bird was a spiritual man.
McMahan told the audience Bird said to him “that there was more work to be done,” after his passing.
Bird was an instrumental part of feeding the hungry at CrossPointe Community Church in East Cleveland.
The skies cleared after the service and an interim chief was named.
Campbell has more than 22 years of service with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, currently supervising the Special Operations Division.
Campbell began his career in 1991 as a reserve deputy and became a full-time member of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office in March 1994.
Campbell’s entire career has been involved in some aspect of patrol service where he held the ranks of field training officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant, before his promotion to captain in November 2011, according to Ruth.
Campbell has more than 16 years of supervisory experience with 13 years in a command position. He has received numerous awards and commendations in his career, including Law Enforcement Commendation Medal, Supervisor of the Year and the Sheriff’s Career Excellence Award.
Campbell is a graduate of Bradley Central High School, and working to complete his bachelor of science degree in criminal justice. He is a graduate of the Cleveland State Community College Basic Police Academy, the FBI Tennessee Law Enforcement Executive Development and the University of Tennessee South Eastern Command.
Capt. Campbell has successfully completed many other law enforcement training courses with a concentration in management and crash investigation, including At-Scene Homicide Crash Investigation, Advanced Crash Investigation, Crash Reconstruction, Applied Physics, Computerized Collision Diagramming and Forensic Mapping.
Campbell is one of a handful of law enforcement officers in Tennessee to fulfill the rigid requirements for ACTAR (Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction) Certification, which is a nationally recognized program offering certification in crash investigation and reconstruction. He has been recognized in court as an expert in this area.
He is a certified Police Instructor on crash investigation and D.U.I. and has taught or trained over 1,500 police officers in Tennessee.
Campbell has many achievements during his 22-year career. He developed many of the guidelines and policies establishing the Traffic Unit. Under his leadership, the Traffic Unit has received recognition for being among the best in the state in 2005, and winning Best in State, 2008 from the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office.
Married for 22 years to wife Lisa, the couple has three children.
“After considering at length who I would appoint as acting or interim chief, I decided to appoint Capt. Campbell,” Ruth said.
“After considering his experience, training, years of service, expertise and overall relationships with county officials, teachers, coaches, students and etc., he was my choice,” Ruth added.