SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- A new era in the South Bay as Bob Jonsen is officially sworn in as Santa Clara County Sheriff. Jonsen had been doing some of the work since Dec. after county supervisors voted unanimously to appoint the "presumptive sheriff-elect" to fill the vacancy.
On Friday, Sheriff Jonsen addressed the crowd and said, "I am honored, truly honored to be back in tan and green and to serve Santa Clara County as your 29th sheriff."
This marked a new chapter for Santa Clara County as Sheriff Bob Jonsen took his oath of office in front of a packed room of law enforcement, local leaders and loved ones.
"It was a blessing to start early, to get the opportunity to engage with the workforce," he told ABC7 News, "To find out what we really need to do in the upcoming future."
The future of a community craving decency and mutual respect, according to honorary speaker Rep. Anna Eshoo. These are values she feels are captured by the new sheriff.
"We're incredibly fortunate that he has chosen a lifetime, a career to live out these values," she said. "He's the son of a police officer, he's the great nephew of a former Santa Clara Co. sheriff. And like them, he has heeded the call to serve."
Jonsen was elected into office after former Sheriff Laurie Smith retired amid scandal. Last year, Smith was found guilty on six corruption and misconduct counts in a civil trial. She served as sheriff for more than two decades.
"I think it's an exciting opportunity to do some things differently," County Sup. Cindy Chavez said. "And one of the things I thought was most compelling today, was to see Sheriff Jonsen bring up all of the men and women that were here, that are serving with him."
As Sheriff Jonsen begins to move the office forward, he reminded he didn't run for sheriff to be a placeholder, rather a change maker.
"I didn't run for sheriff to be a placeholder for the next four years," he detailed. "I ran not to hide behind the ways of the past, I ran to find out the promise that the future holds, to see what we can accomplish together."
He told ABC7 News, "These are relationships we've worked hard to develop and I really think we have an opportunity for Santa Clara County to take this organization and our county to where we want it to be."
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