VIDEO: Sheriff Hilton Sworn In - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

VIDEO: Sheriff Hilton Sworn In

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ALEXANDRIA, La. -- Sheriff William Earl Hilton is back in charge of the department. 

On Friday, in front of a crowd of more than 500, Sheriff Hilton took his oath and laid out his plans for his takeover. 

News Channel Five's Brooke Buford was there. She has the story. 

"It's an honor for me to be back as sheriff," said Sheriff William Earl Hilton, in front of a crowd of hundreds. "And, for all of the people of Rapides Parish to show their support."

The long road to selecting the next sheriff of Rapides Parish has finally come to an end.

Friday morning at the Cenla Shrine Club, Sheriff William Earl Hilton took the oath of office yet again as the next sheriff of Rapides Parish.

He retired as sheriff four years ago.

"I'm there to help you all serve the people of this parish," he said to the deputies in the room. "I want this parish covered from one end to the other. I don't want any resident in this parish to have a patrol car more than 15 or 20 minutes away."

Joining him in the journey is a new team, and that team has some familiar faces to many.

Former Chief Deputy Bill Robinson is back on board.

"He called me about a year ago and said he was thinking about going back. Are you interested? I said yes," said Robinson. "We were successful and I think it really speaks highly of him."

And former APD Chief of Police Tommy Cicardo, who will serve as the head of investigations.

"It wasn't my intentions until I talked to the sheriff and then I just miss it so much and it's just part of me," said Cicardo. "I'm blessed to have a second chance, an opportunity to go back and do what I really love to do."

One of the first things Sheriff Hilton says he'll do on Monday is work on cleaning up the jail, where a fire broke out on Thursday.

"The most the critical thing probably will be dealing with that jail issue," he said. "We've got to get with the police jury, which they've already contacted me. We'll have inmates scrubbing, mopping, cleaning and getting it back to go."

He also has plans to bring back the RPSO boot camp and house more than 130 inmates from Dabadie Correctional Center there, and start a substation with APD on Lower Third Street.

Hilton will officially take over as sheriff Saturday at midnight. He says he can't wait.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I'm excited. I'm fired up and ready to go." 

Sheriff Hilton also addressed the concerns of current employees who were fearful of losing their jobs on Monday with the new administration. He told them not to worry, he's pleased with the team he has.

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