23 to watch in 2023: Eddie Engram, Sonoma County sheriff-elect

Eddie Engram has served the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office for about 20 years. He was elected sheriff in June and will be sworn in Jan. 4.|

For more people to watch in 2023, go here.

Name: Eddie Engram

Title or position: Sonoma County sheriff-elect

On the job since: He has 20 years of experience with the Sheriff’s Office and was most recently assistant sheriff. He will be sworn in as sheriff on Jan. 4.

Age: 49

Hometown: Union City, California

Why is Eddie Engram someone to watch:

Eddie Engram, who was previously assistant sheriff, was elected in June to lead the Sonoma County law enforcement agency. He replaces Mark Essick, who did not seek reelection.

Engram, who will oversee an agency of nearly 700 employees, will be Sonoma County’s first Black sheriff, but he has emphasized his job and experience are more important to defining him than the color of his skin.

The incoming sheriff said priorities in 2023 include engaging with the community via town hall meetings and direct participation involving himself as sheriff. He also plans to address staffing shortages in his agency, which is down 13 deputies and 30 correctional staff. The sheriff-elect also wants to improve response to mental health emergencies, noting other area law enforcement agencies also share that goal.

He’s said previously he’s a proponent of community oversight of law enforcement and stressed his office has and will continue to collaborate with Sonoma County’s Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach, or IOLERO.

What others are saying about Engram:

“I am excited to see Eddie Engram step into the role of our sheriff. I have worked closely with Sheriff-elect Engram over the years, and I have been impressed with his willingness to listen and his strong desire to work collaboratively with others. We plan to meet regularly and help bring our departments closer together so we can better serve the community,” said Santa Rosa Police Chief John Cregan.

What Engram says about making the list:

“I think the sheriff’s office has a role to play in this community. We’ve been here since Sonoma County started (in) 1850. I think what I want to do is sort of reintroduce the sheriff’s office to the people of Sonoma County with my vision. I don’t know if people really understand that every time you get a new sheriff, the ideas of the office changes. It’s not something that’s static and I think I bring something with a different approach than the sheriffs in the past.”

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at colin.atagi@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @colin_atagi

For more people to watch in 2023, go here.

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