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  Ray, Gayle
NameGayle Ray
, Tennessee , United States
Born Unknown
ContributorBarack O-blame-a
Last ModifedBarack O-blame-a
May 31, 2004 11:21pm
InfoA former college English teacher and Metro Councilwoman, Gayle Ray was elected Sheriff of Davidson County in 1994 and is now completing her second term as Nashville's Sheriff.

Gayle ran for Metro Council in 1991 when - as the mother of two children in public schools - she knew the school system was not getting the attention and support it deserved.

She was on the ground floor with Parents for Public Education and Project PENCIL, but she knew she could do more to fix the problem as a Metro Council member.

As Councilwoman, she used her tools for listening, collaboration and coalition-building to pass legislation which pumped $240 million into Nashville's schools to fix crumbling buildings and construct new schools.

Four years later, armed with an MBA from Belmont University's Massey School of Business, Gayle ran for Sheriff, determined to bring sound business management to the office. And she did.

When Gayle took the oath of office, the federal courts controlled the county's jails and the Sheriff's Office was under the court's jurisdiction. Now, just 8 years later, the embarrassing headlines are gone and the Nashville - Davidson County Sheriff's Office is the first local corrections agency in America to be fully accredited by the American Correctional Association.

In addition, as Sheriff, Gayle's accomplishments include lowering the cost for housing inmates, doubling the number of inmates in substance abuse and domestic violence programs, and cutting in half the time it takes to serve a civil paper.

She has also faced the overcrowding problem head-on by building a 600-bed minimum-security jail, on time and on budget, along with starting the Day Reporting Center, an intensive alternative-to-incarceration program for non-violent misdemeanant offenders.

Plus, the department now has thirteen employees with the designation of Certified Jail Manager, including Sheriff Ray.

Now she's ready to take her tools for accomplishments to Washington to help improve the lives of Tennesseans.

Gayle is a native of Murfreesboro, TN and is married to Norman Ray. They are the parents of two adult children.


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