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‘It’s time for a positive change’: Paul Arteta Sworn in as New Sheriff of Orange County, NY

Published: January 2, 2023
Newly elected Orange County Sheriff, Paul Arteta addresses a crowded room at his swearing in ceremony on New Year’s day, 2023 in Orange County, New York. (Image: Jack Chen/ Vision Times)

At a ceremony on New Year’s day, attended by numerous prominent Orange County residents, Paul Arteta was officially sworn in as the upstate New York county’s new police sheriff.

Arteta succeeded in his campaign to become Sheriff following November’s midterm elections, beating out Democrat Bernie Rivers for the role after campaigning for the better part of two years. 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for overseeing the county jail and has deputies that work for the office whose primary responsibility is civil enforcement. They conduct evictions, process servings, serve orders on the people, conduct background checks for pistol permits and assist other local police departments, in addition to traditional policing.  

Orange County District Attorney, David Hoovler, was in attendance and addressed the audience prior to the official swearing in ceremony.

“I cannot be more proud of the individuals that I see sitting up here, and the fact that I know them, and I know that Orange County is in safe hands,” he told the packed room adding that, “Paul Arteta is just a great guy and he’s going to be a great Sheriff.”

He said he first met Arteta over two decades ago while working at the District Attorney’s office. “Everything that that man has done in his career he has done for the people of Orange County, for the citizens,” Hoovler said. 

A ‘bridge builder’

Hoovler praised Arteta for his past support and said that Orange County residents will directly benefit from two qualities he possesses; his ability to problem solve and the fact that he is a “bridge builder.”

“He is a problem solver and he’s a problem solver that doesn’t come in and solve problems with an iron fist and scream and yell at people. He’s a problem solver that gets a consensus, that’s able to put the consensus together and lead a group of people, whether or not they all agree, to get to a solution,” he said.

“The second quality that he has is — it really is lost in today’s world — is he is a bridge builder and he does it quietly …  He gets people to come around to see things his way without forcing them, without making them think they are being forced and he does it with a smile at the end,” he said adding that, “those qualities are going to make him the best Sheriff that this county has ever seen.”

Orange County Executive, Steven Neuhaus, also attended the event. He spoke at length about Arteta’s contributions to the community saying that the “Last five years have been the most difficult, most dangerous; probably in the history of law enforcement. We have no time right now in law enforcement to be divided and that’s where Paul comes in.”

“It’s been a tough campaign for this guy. I’ve been through tough campaigns. People attack you personally, hurt your family, hurt your close friends, go after your livelihood. Not an easy business … So, just the fact he stepped up to the plate means a lot to me,” Neuhaus added.  

Orange County Clerk, Kelly Eskew, was in attendance to administer the oaths of office and took a moment to address the crowd.

She explained that Arteta was there, “right next to me,” when she announced her run for office in the fall of 2020 right around the time when Arteta announced his run for Sheriff.

“Two years of working every day, staying positive, staying focused on his message and I just want to thank him for being the person that he is and thank his family because that’s a huge sacrifice. Thank you so much,” she said. 


Newly sworn in Orange County Sheriff, Paul Arteta (Center), stands on stage with numerous colleagues at his swearing in ceremony on New Year’s Day, 2023, in Orange County, New York. (Image: Jack Chen/Vision Times)

‘Now, let’s get to work.’

In a speech, tinged with emotion, following his official swearing in Sheriff Arteta thanked the crowd, numerous individuals who assisted him with his campaign and his family, wife Lacey and his three children Micahel, Chelsey and Alexandra. He said that his campaign “was a lot of work” and joked that for anybody who wants to take on the endeavor, he will sit down with them one day and try to talk them out of it. 

“I took a two year vacation from the Sheriff’s office and I was fortunate to have enough time to do that, it’s a lot of work and I envy everybody that runs for office,” Arteta said. 

On a more serious note he said that it was “time for a positive change” with the help of the team he is putting together. 

He quoted the words of the father of modern policing, Sir Robert Peel, who said “The police are the public and the public are the police,” and insisted that everyone in Orange County matters

“Our communities matter, everyone. Not just the good people, the bad people, everybody matters. We need our community to help us, and back us, so that we can help you,” he said. 

“We ran a positive campaign as we traveled throughout this county, and this county is huge. There’s a lot of miles I have put on my truck. I had the privilege of speaking with community members, law enforcement, fire personnel, EMS workers, business owners, local, state, federal leaders; anybody that I bumped into we talked to,” he said adding that he didn’t just stand at the Republican table but ventured out to speak with everybody from both sides of the aisle. 

He said that law enforcement is about “community engagement and educating our future generations of law enforcement officers and our children to keep this a great place to live, work and play.”

He acknowledged that the world and Orange County are changing and that attitudes towards law enforcement are changing as well. 

“Attitudes towards law enforcement are changing and we can rise to those challenges and raise our standards of what it means to be a Sheriff’s office that supports its employees and serves its people,” he said.

He again thanked everyone who assisted him in his campaign and said that he is looking forward to continuing to serve Orange County, finishing his speech saying, “Now, let’s get to work.”