Pasco Sheriff Nocco's swearing-in is a family affair
By Eddie Daniels | Tribune StaffNEW PORT RICHEY - Sitting in the front row inside Redeemer Community Church, Jim Nocco described what he had just witnessed.
Published: January 3, 2013
Published: January 3, 2013
"Humbling," the retired Philadelphia Police Department captain said, his digital camera still hanging around his neck.
Nocco's son, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, was sworn in Wednesday morning, officially beginning his second term in that position.
It was Chris Nocco's second swearing-in ceremony, but this one was different.
He was first sworn in as sheriff following an appointment in April 2011 by Gov. Rick Scott. He had joined the Pasco sheriff's office in 2009 as a captain.
Last year, Nocco campaigned, won a primary against two other candidates, then collected a landslide victory in November against Kim Bogart to keep his position.
"It's special and I don't think it's truly hit me and I don't want it ever to," Nocco said. "I want every day to be something new, every day to make us leaning forward. That's really what it's about, making sure the sheriff's office is the best it can be. I don't ever want us to be content with what we're doing because everything we do is about public safety. There's so much at risk with what we do that's why I always want us leaning forward, never being comfortable in our positions."
During his tenure, Nocco has introduced intelligence-led policing to the agency, fought against the county's prescription drug epidemic and has attempted to curb the proliferation of synthetic drug use. He's also bolstered the sheriff's office's ties with the Police Athletic League and added a faith-based, 12-step recovery program for those in jail due to drug addiction.
Jim and Linda Nocco, who made the trip from Philadelphia two days earlier, aren't surprised at how their youngest son's career in law enforcement has materialized. They say he's been helping people since he was a kid.
"He's been like that all his life," said Linda Nocco, who works for the School District of Philadelphia. "Even when he was living in Philadelphia, we'd have those big, heavy snows and he would get all his friends and they'd go shoveling the sidewalks for the older people. … He's always had that in his heart to help."
That continued in Delaware, where Nocco was an offensive lineman for the University of Delaware, Jim Nocco said.
In addition to his parents, Nocco's wife, Bridget, and their three children, Alex, Xavier and Gabriella, watched the ceremony.
"It's special to have my parents come down from Philadelphia, my wife and my kids to experience what daddy does at work," Chris Nocco said. "This is a little bit of the merger. There's a lot of places that have bring-your-kids-to-work-day, but we can't have that at the sheriff's office. But at the same time, to have our family experience just a little bit of the good things that we do and see it, that means a lot."
Jim and Linda Nocco never missed a Delaware football game.
"Watching him growing up and being the youngest, you just knew law enforcement was in his future," Jim Nocco said.
firstname.lastname@example.org (813) 371-1860 Twitter: @EDanielsTBO