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New Utah County sheriff, Michael Smith, sworn in

Judge Darold J. McDade shakes the hand of Michael Smith after Smith is sworn in as the new Utah County sheriff, while Smith's wife, Brenda Smith, and Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon look on, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Provo. (Photo: Megan Thackrey, KSL)

PROVO — There’s a new sheriff in town – Utah County to be specific.

Michael Smith, a former officer and chief with the Pleasant Grove Police Department, is looking forward to his new job.

“It’s exciting, it’s a little intimidating,” says Smith. “There’s a big job to be done.”

Smith’s appointment comes after former sheriff, Jim Tracy, announced his resignation at a county commission meeting last month. He feels that his experience brings a new perspective to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. He says he wants to work closer with the community, and get involved in a population often forgotten.

“Just think outside the box and have more community involvement with the jail, with our inmates, and rehabilitation,” says Smith.

Smith also wants to change attitudes toward working in law enforcement.

“I’m here to tell you that it’s a noble profession,” says Smith. “We want to make sure we’re bringing the best recruits we can to law enforcement and we’re retaining them. There’s work to be done there.”

Smith says he also plans to roll out an ‘honorary colonel program’ in the next month as a way for citizens to assist the sheriff’s office.

Smith was sworn in Tuesday at the Historic Provo Courthouse.