TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ted Sexton, who has served in various law enforcement capacities for some 35 years, including six terms as Tuscaloosa County Sheriff, announced Thursday that he has accepted the appointment as Division Chief for Homeland Security with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in California. He has notified Governor Robert Bentley of his intention to become a Supernumerary Sheriff effective as of 11:50 p.m. on March 17, 2013.
This decision comes following the submission of Sexton's name on January 29 to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors by L.A. County Sheriff Leroy D. Baca. As Division Chief, Sexton will be responsible for evaluating the needs, trends, problems and resources associated with the Homeland Security Division and its personnel. He will be tasked with providing appropriate leadership to accomplish goals complementing the mission of a Sheriff's Department which serves a population of more than ten million people.
The Homeland Security Division is comprised of over 1,100 sworn and civilian personnel who are assigned to individual bureaus including Special Enforcement; Aviation; Emergency Operations; Transit Safety and Reserve Forces. These resources are designed to prevent, mitigate or provide specialized response capabilities in connection with homeland security threats, acts of terrorism and natural disasters that occur within the 4,057 square miles which comprise Los Angeles County. In announcing his decision today, Sexton said that he has mixed emotions about his new role.
"For the past twenty-two years it has been the high honor of my life to be elected, and re-elected, as Sheriff of Tuscaloosa County. During my six terms in office, the Sheriff's Office has grown to a staff of over 200 public servants with an annual budget of some $20,000,000. We have been blessed with outstanding personnel and the vision, planning and process which has been the hallmark of our Agency. The success of the Sheriff's Office is, in my judgment, a tribute to the commitment that these individuals have brought to their work."
Sexton pointed to the fact that out of 3,000 jails in the U.S., the Tuscaloosa County facility is one of only 150 which meets national accreditation standards.
"It was the first jail in Alabama to do so. I am proud to say that our Sheriff's Office is known throughout the state and nation for its professionalism and proven capabilities. I thank all of the people who have worked tirelessly with me, over the past two decades, in providing exceptional service to the people of Tuscaloosa County. They are my friends, and the citizens are my friends, and I will miss all of them greatly," Sexton said.
Commenting on his new responsibilities, Sexton was philosophical.
"People are asking me how I feel about leaving. My decision has been based on the fact that I truly believe we have made a difference here and, in the same way, I believe that positive contributions can be made in Los Angeles. In the Eleventh Chapter of Hebrews, the writer says that faith is 'the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' I realize that this opportunity has not come to me by chance, and I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds in store. But I have faith that this call has come at the right time and for the right reasons. I will miss this work and all of our friends, but I will never forget where I have come from. Tuscaloosa will always be home to me."