Ventura County Undersheriff Larry W. Carpenter, who has 27 years of experience in local law enforcement, was sworn in Tuesday to succeed Sheriff John V. Gillespie.
Carpenter, 46, will serve the two years remaining on Gillespie's term as head of the 1,000-member department.
He will earn a base salary of $122,621.
Gillespie, who is retiring Dec. 31, praised Carpenter on Tuesday as an "honest and intelligent" man.
"Having been my close friend and partner for some 18 years, I can truthfully say he is also the epitome of loyalty--a commodity not found often in today's society," Gillespie said.
Carpenter, who is taking over the department amid tumultuous fiscal problems, said he will be honored to serve as sheriff.
"I'll simply say I'm humbled by all the support I've received," Carpenter told department employees who had gathered for the ceremony in the board hearing room.
"That humility may not last long because there is a lot to do and not much time to do it in."