Robert Luna will officially assume the duties of Los Angeles County Sheriff today

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Following the formality of a swearing-in ceremony over the weekend, Robert Luna is expected to officially assume his duties Monday afternoon as the 34th Los Angeles County Sheriff.

The former Long Beach police chief was sworn in Saturday morning during a ceremony at the County Hall of Administration in downtown Los Angeles, where his wife Celines placed a gold star on his new brown and green uniform while their two adults the children were close.

On Monday at noon, following a contentious campaign that led to the removal of incumbent Alex Villanueva, Luna officially takes command of one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the country, with more than 18,000 sworn employees.

“I stand before you today in this new uniform, and now I have a badge to go with it, with an incredible amount of respect, because it’s the same uniform worn by officers who patrolled the neighborhood where I grew up,” Luna said Saturday, referring to his native East LA

In a 20-minute speech, Luna promised a new direction, saying he would focus on deputy accountability and cooperation with elected officials. She will be tasked with reducing violent and property crime rates that have skyrocketed in the county, the nation’s most populous with some 10 million people.

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Luna said he was elected “with a very clear mandate to bring in new leadership.”

“We must continue to accept change,” he said. “If our streets are not safe for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists, if our homelessness crisis causes despair and misery… then we will never have public safety.”

Luna spent 36 years with the Long Beach Police Department, becoming chief in 2014. He has an MPA from Cal State Long Beach.

Villanueva’s tenure was marred by clashes with members of the county Board of Supervisors and criticism that he downplayed allegations of embezzlement by some deputies. He blamed the controversies on the “false narratives” of his political opponents.

Villanueva has said her accomplishments include managing the prison system during the pandemic, addressing homelessness in a humane way and reviewing the department’s body camera program.

Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.

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