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Hirokawa to Serve as Acting Chief of Correction

Brings Extensive Experience and Accolades for Work with Diverse Populations

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.—The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors has appointed John Hirokawa to serve as Acting Chief of Correction, effective Monday, November 1, 2010. The appointment follows the retirement of the former Chief Ed Flores, announced earlier this month.

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 comprised of 586 sworn personnel and has an operating budget of $112.6 million.

“Throughout his tenure with the County, John has demonstrated both management and leadership skills,” said Board President Ken Yeager. “We are confident that 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 also was 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 County of 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 209. He lives in Saratoga with his wife and two children. His appointment is effective Monday, November 1.

“I am looking 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.”

The Sheriff's Office serves the communities of Cupertino, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of the County. The Sheriff's Office also maintains contracts with the Valley Transportation Authority and the Santa Clara County Parks Department for law enforcement services.

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Laurel Anderson, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119
Posted: October 29, 2010