On Tuesday afternoon, Marcos López, a deputy with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office for 16 years, was sworn in as the next Sheriff in Osceola County in front of Osceola County’s Historical Courthouse.
Sheriff Lopez was born in Chicago, raised in Central Florida, and is a father of three children, two of whom are UCF graduates. He spent 22 years serving in the military, including during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
During the swearing-in ceremony, Sheriff López shared, “We definitely need transparency. We’ve seen all over America where the police have been labeled as the bad guys, we’re not. We’re here to protect and serve. We’re the good guys. We want to bring that back. We’re implementing a community advisory review board, and getting our community leaders to have input how we’re going to run this board, and make sure the community is very involved and aware of everything we do through transparency.”
Sheriff López said that he was told prior to running for sheriff that he had a 5% chance of winning the race, and that meant – he had a chance. He pointed out on Tuesday that he has never let anyone tell him what he cannot accomplish.
Sheriff Lopez is the first Hispanic Sheriff in Osceola County, a county with the majority of its citizens being Hispanic.
“I’m Latino. I’m brown. All lives matter to me,” López said in response to one of the reporters in attendance. “In our county, all lives will matter. Everybody here is equal. We all need to get together as one.”
Sheriff Lopez also presented his administrative leadership team during the ceremony, some of which were already in leadership positions during his predecessor, Russ Gibson’s time as sheriff, who he defeated in the Democratic primary in August.
“It’s a very experienced team that I selected, and I do feel that they are the people that share my vision,” López said.
Sheriff Lopez will be tasked with hiring nearly 50 new deputies and about 15 communications officers.
“We must transition from reactive policing to the new counter-terrorism, intelligence-based era of policing to keep our communities and schools safer. I have a long history of being well rounded with a “think outside of the box mentality” to accomplish the mission,” Lopez shared on the Osceola County Sheriff website. “I want to treat all deputies fairly and with the utmost respect, they deserve. Recruitment, retention, fair discipline, and professional development will be the cornerstone of my administration.”
It was a historic day for Osceola County, for Sheriff Marcos López, and certainly for his father, Pastor Pablo Lopez, who shared the invocation during the swearing-in ceremony.