Rabun County
Sheriff Office
Sheriff's Office Rabun County Patch

Meet Your Sheriff

Chad Nichols

Chad Nichols

Sheriff of Rabun County, Georgia

Born and raised in Rabun County, Sheriff Chad Nichols is married to Dr. Jamie Bleckley Nichols, a retired educator of the Rabun County School System. Sheriff Nichols has two children as well. He is a veteran law enforcement professional who has spent the majority of the past two decades protecting and serving Rabun County citizens.

Sheriff Nichols joined the Rabun County Sheriff's Office in 1998 and has risen through the ranks. He began his career as a jailer then became a dispatcher, deputy sheriff, and a patrol division sergeant. During his tenure with the Sheriff's Office, he was active in the schools as a mentor, wrote and maintained grants, and participated in other community and school related events. Most recently, Sheriff Nichols was the Chief of Police in Baldwin, Georgia. Under his command, the police department was recognized by the mayor for helping make Baldwin the second safest city in Georgia.  Sheriff Nichols is currently in his second term as the Rabun County Sheriff.

During his law enforcement career, Sheriff Nichols has completed over 2,500 hours of law enforcement training and education, including supervision and management. His training includes Supervision Levels 1, 2, and 3, Management Levels 1, 2, and 3, Chief Executive Training, Law Enforcement Certification Manager’s Course, Law Enforcement Certification Assessor's Course, Terminal Agency Coordinator Certification, Security and Integrity, Managerial Liability & E.E.O.C., Employee Discipline & Employee Performance, Leadership/Management Role of the Chief, Department Organization, Police Manpower Allocation & Community Policing, Developing Policies, Budgeting for Executives, and Human Resources. Upon being elected, Sheriff Nichols was mandated to attend the 160 hour Sheriffs-Elect Academy that covers many different topics related to Sheriff's Office operations, which includes the numerous unfunded mandates that the office requires. A few of those mandates are listed at the bottom of the page. 

Since being elected Sheriff, Sheriff Nichols was selected and attended the 115th Session of the National Sheriff's Institute in Aurora, Colorado and the 11th Session of the F.B.I. LEEDS Program held at the F.B.I. Office in Atlanta, Georgia.  Sheriff Nichols was also selected to the F.B.I.'s Inaugural National Command Course held just outside Quantico in Stafford, Virginia.  This brought law enforcement executives from almost all 50 states together to attend training targeted toward agencies with 50 or less sworn personnel. 

Just prior to the new year (2022), Sheriff Nichols was appointed to the National Sheriff's Association's Drug Enforcement Committee.  This has led Sheriff Nichols to Washington, D.C. for committee business and meeting with our legislators to advocate for issues that affect the Office of the Sheriff, our local community, our state, and our nation.

Sheriff Nichols believes in serving and protecting our county by working with the community to achieve this goal. He is proud to serve the county in the highest capacity possible. He is deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Sheriff of Rabun County.

Below are some of the duties and mandates required of the Sheriff.

O.C.G.A. § 15-16-10 cites specific duties of the sheriff: • Execute & return processes and orders of the court • Attend all sessions of Superior Court • Attend election sites • Publish sales, citations, & other proceedings as required by law • Maintain an execution docket • Maintain record of all sales made by process of court • Receive from the preceding sheriff all unexecuted writs & processes • Perform such duties imposed by law • Exercise same duties, powers & arrest authority within the municipalities and • Develop and implement a comprehensive plan for the security of the courthouse and any annex. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the responsibilities of the Office of Sheriff.

In Georgia statutes, the responsibilities of the sheriff are mentioned over 600 times. The Office of Sheriff is mandated to enforce hundreds of laws, often without additional resources. Some of these mandates include: • Mental Health Transports (O.C.G.A. § 37-3-101) • Courthouse Security (O.C.G.A. § 15-16-10) • Sex Offender Registry (O.C.G.A. § 42-1-12) • Determine Legal Status of Immigrants (O.C.G.A. § 42-4-14) • Private Civil Process Server Registry (O.C.G.A. § 9-11-4.1) • Full fill and enforce laws governing raffles (O.C.G.A. § 16-12-22.1) • Formulate professional bonding company polices (O.C.G.A. § 17-6-15) • Assist county dog officer in enforcement of dangerous dog laws (O.C.G.A. § 4-8-22) • Confiscate and destroy any illegal gambling devises (O.C.G.A. § 16-12-30) • Impound livestock running at large (O.C.G.A. § 4-3-4) • Confiscate and destroy illegal fireworks (O.C.G.A. § 25-10-6) • Enforce laws and regulations of the “Georgia Boat Safety Act” (O.C.G.A. § 52-7-25) • Take custody of persons with contagious TB (O.C.G.A. § 31-14-5, 7, 11) • Maintain a register of all precious metal dealers (O.C.G.A. § 43-37-2)