New Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco takes office

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- For the first time in more than 11 years, Riverside County has a new sheriff.

Chad Bianco took part in the ceremonial swearing-in Tuesday.

He now proudly wears four stars on his collar.

"The first time I put them on, it was different, but I'm used to it now," he said.

Bianco defeated longtime sheriff Stan Sniff in a nasty race last year. Sniff was accused of allowing morale to suffer.

Bianco was supported by the sheriff's union, and most of the rank and file.

"The deputies know from this point forward they are empowered to go out and do their jobs, they're the king of their domain in that car, and they need to make a difference in that community," he said.

Virtually all of the command staff under the prior sheriff is now gone, replaced by new personnel sworn in Tuesday too.

Under the new sheriff, the public can expect to see more deputies.

Bianco expects to fill 256 deputy positions and 400 correctional deputies. He claims for years the prior administration refused to hire more deputies, even though there was money available.
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