Bradley County Chief Deputy Wayne Bird is critically ill and has gone on medical leave, Sheriff Jim Ruth announced this afternoon.
Ruth said Bird's illness is "critical" but didn't give specifics.
"Chief Bird has been invaluable to me personally and to our agency in organizing a well trained, well led, well developed Sheriff's Office to fight and prevent crime," Ruth said in the release.
He asked the community to pray for Bird and his family.
Read more in Saturday's Times Free Press.