Heroux Pivots to Bristol County Sheriff Transition
After a long and at times acrimonious election, Attleboro Mayor and Bristol County Sheriff-Elect Paul Heroux said that he's moving on from the campaign rhetoric and focusing on working with his former opponent, longtime Sheriff Tom Hodgson, on the transition of power.
Hodgson acknowledged Heroux's victory in the early morning of November 9 around 1 a.m. He wished Heroux well and said he looked forward to working with the Sheriff-Elect on helping him "carry forward what we've accomplished with a phenomenal staff."
"I've got nothing bad to say about Hodgson at this point," Heroux said during an appearance on WBSM's SouthCoast Tonight. "That's behind us now. And I appreciate the professionalism and just saying, 'Hey let's have a transition and let's make it a successful transition."
"Despite our many policy differences, I do think that he cares about the success of the jail," Heroux said of Hodgson.
Heroux then recalled his last successful election over a longtime incumbent when he defeated 14-year Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas in 2017. He said Dumas was "very gracious" and had invited him to city hall to meet with the department heads and make the transition as seamless as possible.
Heroux also said that several county sheriffs in Massachusetts have reached out to him to offer their advice as well.
Heroux is set to be sworn as sheriff in on January 4, he said the first thing he will do is meet with his staff to develop a report and establish ground rules to ensure everyone is on the same page.
One of the primary topics for debate during the election was the role of the sheriff outside the administration of the correctional facilities in the county. Heroux acknowledged that administration of the county correctional facilities is the primary role of the Sheriff's Office but not the only role they play, and he committed take a technocratic approach to determine the scope of the BSCO's duties.
Any changes to the scope of the office or the services provided to the inmates would made would be gradually.
"What I don't do is I don't come in and start just cutting programs or cutting positions," Heroux said. "I didn't do that as mayor and that's not what I'm going to do as sheriff."
The sheriff-elect also acknowledged, as he had during his campaign, that the Sheriff's Office does have a limited law enforcement capacity and that they would to continue to have a law enforcement role under his administration.
Heroux revealed that just prior to appearing on SouthCoast Tonight that the Bristol County Sheriff's Office had reached out to him via spokesperson Jonathan Darling. Heroux said he responded to Mr. Darling but did not provide the specifics of their correspondence.
Listen to Marcus Ferro's interview with Bristol County Sheriff-Elect Paul Heroux on WBSM's SouthCoast Tonight: