Citrus County swears in 12th Sheriff in historic ceremony

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 03, 2017, 1:20 PM EST

Citrus County held a historic swearing in ceremony on Tuesday, January 3. 

  • Citrus County holds historic swearing in ceremony
  • Sheriff Mike Prendergast sworn in
  • Sheriff Jeff Dawsy retired after 20 years

After 20 years with Sheriff Jeff Dawsy, Citrus County now has a new decorated leader in green. 

Sheriff Mike Prendergast was sworn in as the 12th sheriff in the county's history, and 130-year-old agency. 

Over the past several weeks since the election, Prendergast has been getting to know the community and completing the sheriff’s academy in Tallahassee -- readying himself for the big task ahead. 

Prendergast is no stranger to being sworn in, with 31 years active duty military experience but Tuesday was different. 

“This brings it to reality because it is so close and personal each and every day,” said Prendergast. “We’re not on another continent, in another country engaged in doing the mission that we’ve got, we’re right here in Citrus County at home every day.”

Prendergast will be leading a community of a little over 141,000. 

“He’s got a great staff," said retiring Sheriff Jeff Dawsy. "I told him I’ll be his biggest cheerleader from a distance, if he needs me call me, but he’ll be fine. He’s a natural leader, he’s going to do great."

After Prendergast was sworn in, he swore in 211 deputies, first responders, and other county employees.