SAN DIEGO – Kelly Martinez officially began her new role as the San Diego County Sheriff, the department announced Monday in a press release.

A ceremonial swearing-in event will take place on Jan. 9, where she will take her oath of office before the public. It has not been disclosed where the swearing-in would take place.

“I am honored to have been elected as the next Sheriff of San Diego County,” Martinez said. “There is no greater responsibility than to be entrusted with the safety of the public. I am committed to fulfilling that obligation and I am grateful for the opportunity. I will continue to carry out my promise to improve San Diego jails, hire and retain staff and keep our communities safe.”

Martinez has worked with the department since 1985. Since then, she has served as a deputy working in county jails, an investigator, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, commander and undersheriff, according to the sheriff’s department.

The release continues to say that as sheriff, Martinez will lead a department that is responsible for providing law enforcement services to 4,200 square miles of unincorporated San Diego County, nine contract cities, seven jails and security for the courthouses. She is responsible for the sheriff department’s $1.165 billion budget and more than 4,700 authorized employees.

Martinez, who took her formal oath on Dec. 16, is the 31st sheriff of San Diego County.