Paul Miyamoto becomes state’s 1st Asian American sheriff elected into office

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California State Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Jan. 8 swore in San Francisco’s 37th Sheriff Paul Miyamoto.

Paul Miyamoto. courtesy San Francisco Sheriff’s Office

Miyamoto’s inauguration marks the first time an Asia American has been elected to the sheriff’s office in the state of California.

During his inauguration, Miyamoto, who has been with the Sheriff’s Department for over 23 years, stood alongside his wife LeeAnn and their five children, three of whom are triplets.

“Our department members have been at the forefront of some of the toughest challenges facing our city, including an increase in the number of people in jail who suffer from behavioral health issues,” he said. “Not surprisingly, this has challenged our infrastructure and our staff.

“In response to the changing jail population, we’ve created psychiatrist sheltered living units, which provide consistent care and structure,” he said.

“Our behavioral health assistance teams, comprised of trained deputies and Department of Public Health specialists, are supporting people housed in these units. And it’s making a positive difference in their lives, creating new hope for their successful re-entry into the community.”

Miyamoto is taking over after former Sheriff Vicki Hennessy announced she wouldn’t seek re-election last year.

“As the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department moves forward, you can expect more of this from my staff and me: care, compassion and collaboration,” Miyamoto said.

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