The ‘Man in Blue’? Sheriff donates Johnny Cash deputy photo

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This 1979 image released by the Davidson County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office via the Johnny Cash Museum, shows Cash’s Deputy Sheriff ID card. This week at the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville, Tenn., Nashville Sheriff Daron Hall unveiled a blown-up image of the late musician’s September 1979 deputy sheriff commission card. The card authorized Cash to “execute any and all processes that may come into his hands and to maintain the peace and dignity of the State, and arrest any and all persons violating the Criminal laws of the State of Tennessee.” (Davidson County Sheriff’s Office/the Johnny Cash Museum via AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A sheriff has presented the Johnny Cash Museum proof that the late musician who famously cultivated an image as an outlaw was in fact granted law enforcement authority decades ago.

This week, Nashville Sheriff Daron Hall gave the museum a blown-up image of Cash’s September 1979 deputy sheriff commission card. It was issued by then-Davidson County Sheriff Fate Thomas and features Cash’s headshot, fingerprint and signature.

Hall says his photographer found a photo of the card, which has been talked about for years. It’s unclear where the original card is.

The card authorized Cash to “… Arrest any and all persons violating the Criminal laws of the State of Tennessee.”

Hall says he doesn’t have evidence of what the deputy work entailed, but Cash believed in prison reform and criminal justice reform.

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