With his own Bible in hand and his wife Melissa at his side, Jim Mullett was officially sworn in this week as Garvin County's new sheriff.
Mullett actually went through a couple of oath ceremonies, both led by District Judge Leah Edwards, as he steps in to replace his longtime boss, Larry Rhodes.
“I've been in the background for a long time, but I feel the Lord has placed me here,” Mullett said with a courtroom full of family and friends looking on during an afternoon ceremony.
“I know that it's a high honor. It's something I prayed about and with your support we can do this as one big family.”
Mullett has served as the undersheriff since Rhodes became the sheriff here back in 2010.
With a year left on this term Rhodes decided to step down early to accept a job as director of investigations with the Oklahoma Medical Board.
Garvin County's trio of commissioners appointed Mullett last week as Rhodes replacement.
The new sheriff says he plans to stay focused on keeping the office strong in some areas he says are already pretty solid.
“The organization of the sheriff's office, the good patrol, we'll continue with that 24/7.”
Mullett says a couple of “cadets” now going through formal law enforcement training should help that patrol coverage when they're ready to step in as full-time deputies.
“I'm excited about stepping into the big shoes that I've got to fill,” Mullett said.
“I have a good staff and we have the backing of this citizens of this county.”
One change is a necessity – naming his own replacement.
Longtime deputy and law enforcement officer in Garvin County, Travis Crawford, is stepping into his new role as undersheriff.
“Travis has been focused on criminal investigations, but he's ready to step into the role of undersheriff,” Mullett said, adding that involves overseeing the jail and the daily operations of the sheriff's office.
“He's got a lot of years of experience in law enforcement, his dedication to the office, his understanding of what's going on around the county – that's what makes him a good choice to be my undersheriff.”
Jared White is being promoted to the rank of captain in the sheriff's office.
More on Jim Mullett and his new role as Garvin County's sheriff will come later in the PV Democrat.