Deputy Sheriff Robert John Leonard

Deputy Sheriff Robert John Leonard

Meigs County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Add to My Heroes

Robert John Leonard

Deputy Sheriff R.J. Leonard died in a single-vehicle crash into the Tennessee River off the Blythe Ferry Boat Ramp in Birchwood.

Deputy Leonard was at home when he took the call relating to a disturbance near the Highway 60 Bridge in Birchwood. He arrived at the scene at about 9:48 p.m. and, at 10:15 pm, radioed that he had arrested a female subject and was transporting her to the Meigs County Jail. A few moments later, dispatchers received an unclear transmission where Deputy Leonard mentioned "water." The area is remote and rural, and it is difficult for cellphone signals and other radio traffic to go through. When he failed to respond to a status check, a search began.

The next day, his patrol car was found upside down in the water with the female subject in the back. His window was rolled down, and he was not in the vehicle. His body was recovered at 6:30 p.m. on February 15, 2024.

Deputy Leonard had served with the Meigs County Sheriff's Office for two months. He is survived by his wife, five children, mother, and two siblings.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 2 months
  • Badge 807

Incident Details

  • Cause Drowned

arrest, single vehicle crash, transport

Most Recent Reflection

View all 84 Reflections

The true measure of a person
is not found in the
might of their arm,
their wealth
or their power –
it is found in the strength
of their character.

There is no greater testimony to
ones character, than ones
willingness to sacrifice all,
in the noble quest of
providing protection to all
whom they serve.

Author Unknown

Javier Cornejo
Police Officer, Retired
City of Milwaukee Police Department
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

April 25, 2024

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.