Honorable Sheriff Bruce Watson Harris, age 72, of Dallas, GA, passed away at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital on Sunday, January 12, 2020. He was born on May 4, 1947 in Dallas, GA, to his late parents; Guy and Laura Jane Harris. Bruce was a faithful member of First United Methodist Church of Dallas. In addition to his parents; he was preceded in death by his daughter, Jana Harris.
Survivors include his loving wife, Susan Harris of Dallas, GA, daughters; Jaime Harris of Savannah, GA, Paige Camp of Dallas, GA, grandchildren; Jameson Tubb, Ailey Savage, Harlie Camp, and Ivie Ella Camp.
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 and later became a State Trooper in Cartersville, GA.
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, and 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, and 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.
A Graveside Service for Mr. Bruce Harris will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 3:00 PM at Dallas Memory Gardens with Rev. Don Rackley officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that donations be made to First United Methodist Church of Dallas in loving memory of Sheriff Harris.
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.
To send flowers to Bruce's family, please visit our floral section.
Dallas First United Methodist Church
141 E. Memorial Drive, Dallas GA 30132