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November 5, 2010 > Hirokawa to serve as Acting Chief of Correction

Hirokawa to serve as Acting Chief of Correction

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell and Laurel Anderson

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors appointed John Hirokawa to serve as Acting Chief of Correction, effective Monday, November 1, 2010. The appointment follows the recent retirement of the former Chief Ed Flores.

Hirokawa, a 30-year veteran with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, has served as Undersheriff since January 2008. The Undersheriff is the second-in-command within the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, which is comprises 586 sworn personnel and has an operating budget of $112.6M.

"Throughout his tenure with the County, John has demonstrated both management and leadership skills," said Board President Ken Yeager. "We are confident he will bring sound judgment to this new area of responsibility."

Hirokawa has made steady advancement throughout his career. Prior to becoming Undersheriff, he was one of two Assistant Sheriffs. His area of responsibility as Field Enforcement Assistant Sheriff included the operations of Headquarters Patrol, West Valley Patrol, Santa Clara County Valley Transit Patrol, Santa Clara County Parks Patrol, Investigations, and Special Operations.

From December 2002 to July 2006, he was the Captain and West Valley Patrol Division Commander. As the Captain of the Substation, he was the de-facto Police Chief for Cupertino, the unincorporated areas of Los Gatos and Moffett Field. Hirokawa was also Division Commander of the Community Services/Reserves and Community Oriented Policing Division and Assistant Division Commander of Court Security and West Valley Patrol Divisions.

Among Hirokawa's diverse experience are assignments as Tactical Commander of the Sheriff's Emergency Response Team, Intelligence/Vice/Special Operations Unit and the Sheriff's Public Information Officer. He also has been assigned to the jails, courts, patrol and detectives units.

Hirokawa has been recognized for his cultural sensitivity and efforts to create positive relationships within the county's diverse communities. He was awarded a Resolution for his "Outstanding Work in the Area of Human Rights and Human Relations," a Special Merit Award for "Dedication and Outstanding Service in the area of Human Relations and Human Rights" and a "Unity in Diversity Achievement Award" from the Santa Clara County Executive's Office.

Fifty-four year old Hirokawa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Administrative Justice from San Jose State University. He also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Class of 2009.

"I look forward to the opportunity to provide leadership to the Department of Correction during this time of transition," said Hirokawa. "I appreciate the support and confidence of the Board of Supervisors."

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