SANTA CLARA COUNTY, California (KGO) — New era in South Bay: Bob Johnsen is officially sworn in as Santa Clara County Sheriff. Johnsen has been doing part of the job since December, after county leaders voted unanimously to appoint a “prospective elected sheriff” to fill the vacancy.
On Friday, Sheriff Johnsen addressed the crowd and said, “I’m honored, really honored to be back in brown and green and serve Santa Clara County as your 29th sheriff.”
It marked a new chapter for Santa Clara County as Sheriff Bob Johnsen was sworn in in front of a packed house of law enforcement officials, local leaders and loved ones.
“It was a blessing to start early so we could interact with the workforce,” he told ABC7 News, “to find out what we really need to do in the near future.”
VIDEO: From Former Stormtrooper to South Bay Defense, Meet Elected Santa Clara Sheriff Bob Johnsen
According to Rep. Anna Eshu, Speaker Emeritus, the future of a community that yearns for decency and mutual respect. These values, in her opinion, were adopted by the new sheriff.
“We are incredibly lucky that he chose a lifetime, a career, to live up to those values,” she said. “He is the son of a police officer, great-nephew of the former sheriff of Santa Clara Co. And like them, he responded to the call to serve.”
Johnsen was elected to the post after former sheriff Laurie Smith resigned due to the scandal. Smith was found guilty last year on six counts of corruption and misconduct in a civil trial. She served as sheriff for over two decades.
“I think this is an exciting opportunity to do some things differently,” said County Soup. Cindy Chavez said. “And one of the things that I find most compelling today is to see Sheriff Johnsen bring in all the men and women that’s been here to serve with him.”
As Sheriff Johnsen begins moving the office forward, he recalled that he ran for sheriff not to be a filler, but to make a change.
“I didn’t run for sheriff for the next four years,” he said. “I didn’t run to hide behind the paths of the past, I ran to find out what the future holds, to see what we can achieve together.”
He told ABC7 News, “This is a relationship that 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 to be.”
If you are on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live
Copyright © 2023 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.