Sheriff Carl Squyres officially assumed the duties of Runnels County Sheriff after being sworn in at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1.

Sheriff Carl Squyres officially assumed the duties of Runnels County Sheriff after being sworn in at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1.

Squyres replaced Sheriff Bill Baird, who has served in the position for more than 33 years. Squyres, who ran unopposed after defeating Miles Police Chief Toby Virden in the Republican primary in March, had to wait nine months before taking on the duties of sheriff. Squyres defeated Virden with 1,505 votes to Virden's 857 votes in the primary.

Squyres, a 14-year veteran of the Runnels County S.O. said the first order of business as sheriff is to make sure all of the law enforcement and emergency services agencies cooperate.

“I have spoken to most of them and we agree that it will be better for all of the citizens of Runnels County,” Squyres said.

He also wants to bring Runnels County into the technology age. He plans to upgrade systems at the Runnels County Sheriff’s Office as well as the county jail.

“We have to keep up with technology,” Squyres said.

He said that even though the county budget has been approved, he will begin researching what needs to be done to make advances to technology in his office.

Throughout the campaign, Squyres has said he wants to be tough on the drug problem in Runnels County and to work to bring criminals to justice.

“I plan to continue the efforts to fight drugs in Runnels County,” Squyres said.

Squyres, who was named sergeant more than a year ago, has been in law enforcement for 22 years, earning his Texas Peace Officer License in 1994 from the West Central Texas Law Enforcement Academy in Abilene.

His first job in law enforcement was at the Coleman Police Department where he worked as a detective and earned the rank of sergeant.

During his tenure in Runnels County, Squyres has worked in narcotics, assisting with cases in Tom Green, Coleman, Taylor, Concho and Coke counties. He also worked alongside investigators with the West Central Texas Interlocal Crime Task Force.

A native of Coleman County, Squyres graduated from Santa Anna High School in 1980 and would go on to work at Stempel Manufacturing for a number of years.

The Runnels County Sheriff office employs five deputies, the newest of which is Travis Baird, the son of the former sheriff, who was sworn in on Jan. 1.

Squyres said he learned a lot from his predecessor and that he will be missed.

“He (Baird) gave me a lot of guidance over the years and I appreciate that,” Squyres said.

Newly elected Precint 3 Commissioner Roy Mints was also sworn in Sunday. The rest of the Runnels County officials were sworn in on Jan. 3 including County Attorney Ken Slimp, Tax Assessor Collector Robin Burgess, Precinct 1 County Commissioner Robert Moore, Precinct 1 Constable Wayne Poehls and Precinct 2 Constable Archie Jobe were sworn in on Tuesday.