Justin Marr swearing-in ceremony

Justin Marr, left, who won the GOP nomination for Victoria County sheriff, poses for a picture with Victoria County Judge Ben Zeller Monday after being sworn in as interim Victoria County sheriff for the remainder of the year.

Justin Marr was sworn into office as interim Victoria County sheriff on Monday.

As the top law enforcement official in Victoria County, the sheriff is also a “central figure in our entire region in the law enforcement community,” said County Judge Ben Zeller. Victoria County commissioners unanimously voted to appoint Marr as interim sheriff during their meeting Monday morning.

Marr was sworn in during a short ceremony at DeLeon Plaza on Monday afternoon. A crowd of about 200 people that included government leaders, law enforcement officials and county residents attended the ceremony.

“There are few elected positions in Texas more important than that of a county sheriff, especially in the times that we’re living in,” Zeller said before swearing in Marr.

Marr, a career Victoria County sheriff’s office employee with two decades of experience, beat opponent Dale Fowler after receiving about 66% of the votes in the primary runoff election on July 14.

Marr said Monday he appreciated the support he’s received that has helped get him to the office.

“You people are the ones that put me here,” he told the crowd.

It’s a challenging time for Marr to step into office, Zeller said, given the ongoing challenges including COVID-19, struggles with recruitment and retention, unsettled times and a “disturbing disrespect that you see in today’s culture for men and women in uniform.”

“But I’ll tell you this,” Zeller said, “it’s in these times when his leadership and his experience will be the most important and the most valuable.”

With a “great team at the sheriff’s office,” Marr said he was up for the challenge.

“I look forward to continuing to lead them in this capacity and take those challenges that the judge talked about head on,” he said.

Marr will be the Republican nominee for sheriff on the November ballot. He remains unopposed. His elected term as sheriff would begin Jan. 1.

Marr was appointed as interim sheriff to fill the vacancy left by former Sheriff T. Michael O’Connor, who resigned from the sheriff’s office to accept a nomination from President Donald Trump as the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Texas.

Since then, O’Connor’s chief deputy, Roy Boyd, has served as interim leader of the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office. Boyd resigned from the position prior to Marr’s swearing-in ceremony.

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Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, mtheophil@vicad.com or on Twitter

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Local Government Reporter

Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, mtheophil@vicad.com or on Twitter.

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Tami Keeling


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