New sheriff sworn in today |

New sheriff sworn in today

After a swearing-in ceremony today at 11 a.m. in Placerville, Jeff Neves, who has been with El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department for nearly 24 years, will become the new lead law enforcer for the county.

Neves, who will leave his post as undersheriff, won a March primary election against Sgt. Larry Hennick by gaining 56 percent of 41,067 votes.

“Of course I’ll be excited for it,” said Neves, 49, about the ceremony. “I don’t think I’ll be nervous at all. It’s been a long process.”

Neves will replace Sheriff Hal Barker, who retired in late July after he saying he would seek reelection. Barker gave his support to Neves.

Neves said he will not make major changes to the department. He would like to create emphasis on customer service and provide more appreciation to his staff.

“Law enforcement is to me one of the most honorable professions anyone can be in,” he said. “One of the important aspects I want them to know is I have the utmost respect for what they do. I want to appreciate them for who they are and what they do for the community.”

Law enforcement runs in the Neves family. His father worked for the FBI and started the South Lake Tahoe bureau. His twin brother, Joel Neves, is the chief of police for Roseville.

As undersheriff for El Dorado County for roughly two years, Neves was in charge of a $30 million budget. He created a new mission statement for the department and was in charge of administrative duties.

His path to the top included being a dispatcher, jail supervisor, patrol deputy, SWAT leader, detective, narcotics division supervisor, internal affairs supervisor and Support Services Division captain.

He’s been married for 27 years and has three children. Ryan, 23, is a civil engineer, daughter Cambren, 21, works for a counseling service and 11-year-old Taylor is “just enjoying life” in the sixth grade, Neves said.

He plans to come up to South Lake Tahoe about four times a month.

“I’ll usually stop by the office, stick my head in at the courts,” he said. “I’ll look for community events to stop in and say hello.”

Neves said he has not yet selected a replacement for himself as undersheriff.

The swearing-in of nine county officials will take place at the board of supervisors chambers at 330 Fair Lane today in Placerville. El Dorado County Superior Court Presiding Judge Suzanne Kingsbury will conduct the ceremony. District Attorney Gary Lacy and Board of Supervisors member David Solaro will also be sworn-in.

— Contact William Ferchland at

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