WACO (January 1, 2013) -- After being out of the game for ten years, former U.S. Marshal now McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara, says he's glad to be back in the saddle again.
McNamara wasted little time jumping into his new role. At 12:01 a.m. Tuesday morning, he was sworn in as sheriff by McLennan County Judge Scott Felton. Thus, beginning the "Era of McNamara."
Dozens gathered at the McLennan County Sheriff's office for the ceremony, but when the clapping and cheering ended McNamara went straight to work.
"We went on patrol after the ceremony last night," Sheriff McNamara said.
"For New Year's eve, things were pretty quiet in the county."
Sheriff McNamara started patrolling McLennan County with his Chief Deputy Matt Cawthon around 3:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.
By the time News 10 caught up with Sheriff McNamara and Chief Deputy Cawthon this afternoon, much hadn't changed. The two were patrolling near Hwy 84 and Val Verde rd.
"I think responsibility starts up at the top with the Sheriff and resonates all the way down through the troops," Sheriff McNamara said.
"All of our guys seem really energized and are ready to go."
McNamara's no stranger to wearing a badge, he spent 32 years with the U.S. Marshals service after retiring in 2002.
But for McNamara, being a lawman is a lot like riding a bike. Once he learned how, he never forgot.
"I certainly didn't forget how it was. When midnight rolled around this morning, it was like Christmas to me," Sheriff McNamara said.
Many are excited to see how McNamara tackles pressing issues within his office. Like an overcrowded county jail that has cost McLennan county millions of dollars.
But McNamara told News 10 he feels up to all the challenges that his new role will bring.