9:47 PM MST
Sheriff-elect Leon Wilmot took over command from longest-serving Sheriff Ralph Ogden.
Organizers said the swearing-in-ceremony Friday was special because it was the first time the Change-of-Command was open to the public.
Wilmot said he feels honored to be in the position. Wilmot has been with the Yuma County Sheriff's Office since 1987 when he was a marine reserve.
Wilmot says one of his top priorities is to involve officers in the schools and to increase the presence of deputies on the streets to curb criminal activity.
"I think the important one that I'll be concentrating more on is the officers in the school right now because that's a pretty serious issue that's going on in other parts of the country and we want to make sure that we don't have any of that coming into our community," Wilmot said.
Wilmot has been chief deputy for the last 8 years to Sheriff Ogden.
Ogden offered some encouraging words to his replacement. "Over the last 27 years I've watched him grow, his last day as a chief deputy. Just because i did something doesn't necessarily make it right. But take your time, think it through."
Several local leaders showed up for the ceremony, with reminders of the challenges of protecting the southwest Arizona community.
Yuma Mayor Al Krieger said, "The challenges are increasing given the way things are in the world today, and I think the economy has a lot to do with what happens."
The last change of command was two decades ago.
Sheriff Ralph Ogden said he's only half-way retiring. He'll still have an active role in the community doing consulting for a drug law-enforcement group.