It’s official – Jim Anderson is sheriff By Karen White — Staff Writer 10/9/02 Jim Anderson looked down and smiled as his wife, Lori, pinned the badge onto his chest, officially making him Santa Barbara County Sheriff at a swearing-in ceremony Tuesday morning in Santa Maria. He actually has served as sheriff-elect since March and is a 26-year veteran of the department. He has been sheriff since September. He won election during the primary, collecting more than 50 percent of the vote in a four-candidate race. Historians believe Anderson, from Lompoc, is the first sheriff to take the oath of office in the north part of the county. Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville guided Anderson in taking the oath before the county Board of Supervisors meeting in regular session Tuesday morning. A reception, sponsored by sheriff’s employee organization, followed. Surrounded by well-wishers, family members and his command staff, a smiling Anderson talked about the challenges of the job. His first task is to fill the ranks of his department. “We need to fill 30 vacancies,” he said. But, there are 11 candidates in the sheriff’s academy, with background checks being conducted on 26 other persons. “The county needs to stay competitive,” he said, hoping the supervisors “will enhance benefits for employees” so that he can retain “quality personnel.” A longer term goal is a jail for the North County. Anderson, as a sheriff’s lieutenant, spent several years working on the project with Sheriff Jim Thomas. “I am opening the criteria on where to look,” Anderson said. Originally, the goal was to set the jail near Santa Maria. Now he will look for a central location, “north of Los Alamos,” he said. His goal is to place the facility where booking can be conducted with less time lost for sheriff’s deputies within the entire north end of the county. Retired sheriff Jim Thomas did not attend the ceremony. Anderson said he will face another swearing in, with other elected officials, in early January. But, with Thomas gone, he needed the official designation as soon as possible. “I really appreciate the support from the community … I am truly honored,” Anderson said, looking forward to his task. He called it an honor to be sworn in locally, because “I come from the north county.” Staff writer Karen White can be reached by e-mail at kwhite@pulitzer.net :nav Source: http://www.lompocrecord.com/articles/2002/10/09/news/export7091.txt

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