(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Newly elected El Paso County Sheriff Joe Roybal was sworn in Tuesday, Jan. 10 in front of a packed room at New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

Roybal is now the 29th Sheriff of El Paso County. Jeff Kramer will also step into his new role as Undersheriff.

Now as Sheriff, Roybal has achieved the honor of holding every rank within the Sheriff’s command, but as he says the real work can now begin.

“It’s a dream come true,” Sheriff Roybal said.

Roybal began his career in law enforcement in 1995, was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2010, Lieutenant in 2014, Commander in 2017, and Undersheriff in 2021. Roybal now takes office as Sheriff with big plans for El Paso County.

“Right out of the gate is going to be legislation because of the Club Q tragedy, the spotlight on weapons, specifically assault rifles as they’re categorized in mass shootings,” Sheriff Roybal explained.

The Sheriff looks to work with lawmakers to keep the community safe and protect constitutional rights.

“I believe we can strike a balance and I hope level heads come together to solve that problem,” Sheriff Roybal said.

While campaigning, Roybal put a focus on recruiting and retaining deputies in the Sheriff’s office.

“I’ll be true to my promises and I have found money in the current budget to increase authorizations for our Deputy Sheriffs,” Sheriff Roybal said.

Roybal also looks to expand the behavioral health program (BHCON) and make it a priority inside the community and the county jail.

“We are bringing a similar program into the jail so whenever one of our citizens are in crisis inside the facility, we have the personnel go there to hopefully de-escalate and prevent a use of force inside the jail,” Sheriff Roybal explained.

Of course, Sheriff Roybal is not alone in achieving these goals, as Undersheriff Jeff Kramer will be right by his side.

“I recognize how important the services we provide to the community are and how increasingly challenging providing many of those services has become,” Undersheriff Kramer explained. “It will be my privilege to serve you as your Undersheriff as we collectively forge ahead.”

In the weeks to come, Sheriff Roybal plans to address current gun legislation while promoting a new program to attract a wider workforce in the Sheriff and Deputy ranks.