Sheriffs past and present: Mr. Odgen with retiring sheriff Michael McCormack. — Steve Myrick

Robert Ogden began a six-year term as Dukes County sheriff Wednesday after he was sworn in a courthouse ceremony attended by dozens of family, friends and sheriff’s office personnel.

Elected in November, Mr. Ogden succeeds former sheriff Mike McCormack, who retires after 18 years in office. Mr. Ogden included his administrative staff and deputies in the noontime swearing-in ceremony at the Dukes County courthouse.

“I wanted everyone to know that we are a collective,” Sheriff Ogden said shortly after taking the oath of office, administered by superior court clerk-magistrate Joseph E. Sollitto Jr.. “I wanted the community to know. Everything we do from this day forward, there will be transparency. We’re not just a house of correction, a jail, we’re a public service.”

Mr. Ogden has worked his entire career for the department, rising to the position of special sheriff. Since 1994 he has served as the department’s director of drug information, and is the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officer for Island schools.

Taking the solemn oath. — Steve Myrick

Among those attending the ceremony Wednesday was former Sheriff McCormack.

“I couldn’t be turning the office of Dukes County sheriff over to a finer person than Bob Ogden,” Mr. McCormack said.

The sheriff’s department is responsible for operation and maintenance of the Dukes County house of correction and jail. The department also operates the communications center, which dispatches law enforcement, fire personnel, emergency medical services and all other public service agencies on the Island.