Outgoing Sheriff Tries to Pass Torch

For the first time in 31 years, there will be a new sheriff in town

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, May 3, 2011  |  Updated 2:20 PM PDT
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Outgoing Sheriff Tries to Pass Torch

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The San Francisco sheriff has a unique job because the city and the county lines are the same.

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After more than three decades as San Francisco Sheriff, Mike Hennessey says he is going to step down and he says he knows who should take over the elected post.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Hennessey stood on the steps of San Francisco City Hall and endorsed Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

Hennessey said Mirkarimi has the right combination of law enforcement training, legislative experience and political acumen to meet the challenges of the job.

Mirkarimi is one of a handful of people who have declared their intention to run for the office, but he has the best name recognition and now he has the best endorsement.

Because San Francisco is both a city and a county, the job of sheriff is unique. The department of about 850 sworn officers and 100 civilians provides security to the court system and city hall and it administers the six county jails. It also executes arrest warrants out of the courts. 

"Ross has the law enforcement experience of graduating from the San Francisco Police Academy - serving as class president, Naval Reserve training and over eight years of on the job experience as an investigator for the San Francisco District Attorney. He has made public safety a top priority during his time on the board of supervisors," Hennessey said in a released statement.

Mirkarimi is in his second term as county supervisor. Of course he said he's grateful for the sheriff's support.

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