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This morning I attended the swearing in ceremony of Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. This event was held in the OC Sheriff’s Regional Training Academy in Tustin in the same large room that is used for her swearing in of the newest members of our OCSD.
It was a “who’s who” in local law enforcement including sheriffs from other Orange County cites as well as LA County Sheriff Lee Baca.
Prior to the sheriff taking the oath Former US Ambassador and Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez provided a resume of Sheriff Hutchens that included the sheriffs last assignment in the LA County sheriff’s department where she served four years as Division Chief for the office of Homeland Security addressing the issue of counter terrorism. Gaddi pointed out that the OC sheriff’s department includes 3600 sworn men and women. He stated that Orange County is the 8th largest jail system in the nation. Gaddi’s current position is VP of Public Affairs for SC Edison.
Upon concluding his remarks Gaddi introduced the participants in the swearing in ceremony beginning with Kim G. Dunning, presiding judge Orange County Superior Court who administered the oath of office. Also in the oath ceremony were new OC Board Chairman Bill Campbell and the sheriff’s husband Larry who held the bible used in the ceremony.
In her remarks sheriff Hutchens thanked many in the audience beginning with Ambassador Vasquez, Judge Dunning, Supervisor Campbell BOS Members, OCSD senior chaplain Sandy Otsuji, her husband Larry, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, family members, friends from LA County sheriff’s department, DA Tony Rackauckas, all of the OC police chiefs, AOCDS president Wayne Quint, OCEA G.M. Nick Bernardino and Lee Baca, LA County Sheriff, who she identified as one of her mentors.
She closed the introductions by acknowledging every member of her Command Staff who as she pointed out “does the heavy lifting ” and implementation of her vision and direction for the department.
Sheriff Hutchens pointed out that the “Sheriff, as an elected official is accountable to the people. I pledge to you that I will not waver from that awesome responsibility.”
In a review of department accomplishments one deserves a great deal of credit and thanks was the actions of a two member highway interdiction team. They “captured a car with large scale narcotics traffickers utilizing OC highways including the I-5 corridor to Mexico. Team of two seized over 80,000 amphetamine, 160 pounds of cocaine, 10 firearms, $3 million in cash and made 85 arrests.”
Her closing remark, referenced by former President Reagan is that “there is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
While I recognized several of the other attendees let me add that former Assembly Member Todd Spitzer was in attendance with perhaps 1,000 suits and uniforms. I felt well protected this morning.