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New Sheriff In Town: Penzone Takes Oath Of Office

Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
editorial | staff
Paul Penzone is sworn in as sheriff of Maricopa County in 2017.

There’s a new sheriff in town. Paul Penzone was sworn in as the sheriff of Maricopa County on Wednesday morning in downtown Phoenix.

It was actually the second time Penzone took the oath of office. The new sheriff was officially sworn in at midnight on New Year’s Eve in a private ceremony attended by his family.

Penzone joined other recently elected county leaders at the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting to publicly take his new role.

The Sheriff’s Office employs more than 3,500 deputies officers and staff, and Penzone said it was a humbling opportunity to be able to lead them.

“The transition has been well-received, they have gone above and beyond to help us get through this stage and move forward in a real positive way, so I’m excited about working with them,” Penzone said.

Last month, the new sheriff announced a leadership team that included several former members of the Phoenix Police Department, but no one from the Sheriff’s Office. Penzone says so far the transition is going smoothly.

"I think it’s more so just getting comfortable with new faces, as much as they’re getting comfortable with me and hearing their concerns and their thoughts so we can collectively come up with some innovative ways to enhance safety for our community and to run the jails more efficiently,” he said.

Penzone says one of his main priorities will be to comply with the federal monitors installed at the Sheriff's Office after a judge found his predecessor, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, was racially profiling suspects. Penzone says he also hopes to rebuild relationships with the minority communities of Maricopa County.

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Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.