Sheriff promotes Hodgkinson to Chief Deputy
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has been without a Chief Deputy for a few weeks now. On Thursday, Aug. 11, Sheriff Keith Merritt officially announced that the position of Chief Deputy has officially been filled.
“It is my honor and pleasure to announce that the former Captain over Patrol, Clint Hodgkinson, as the new Chief Deputy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department,” Merritt said.
On Monday afternoon, Aug. 14, the Sheriff’s office hosted a small reception welcoming Hodgkinson as the new Chief Deputy.
“It really doesn’t matter which title I carry, I am still going to serve the citizens [of Orange County] the best I can,” Hodgkinson said.
Chief Hodgkinson is a lifelong resident of Orange County. He has attended both Lamar University and the Lamar Institute of Technology. In 1994, he began as a corrections officer at the Mark W. Stiles prison unit in Beaumont. He was hired in 1997 by the Orange Police Department and attended the Lamar Regional Police Academy.
As an officer with the City of Orange, he worked as a patrol officer and eventually became a field training officer for new hires.
In 1999, Hodgkinson was promoted to detective. After about a year as a detective, Hodgkinson left law enforcement to pursue another career. He quickly found that his calling was strictly in serving others and knew law enforcement was where he needed to be.
In September 2002, Hodgkinson applied with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to be a Reserve Deputy. Within a week, he was hired as a corrections officer in the jail at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. One month later, a patrol deputy position became available and he was promoted to that position.
A year later, in October of 2003, Hodgkinson tested for an open patrol corporal position and obtained the promotion.
Hodgkinson tested for a patrol sergeant position in March 2005. He was the top candidate with the highest overall score and was promoted to patrol sergeant.
When Sheriff Merritt came into office in January of 2009, Hodgkinson was then promoted to the patrol captain position.
Chief Hodgkinson has also served on the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team for the last nine years. He is currently the Commander of the team. Chief Hodgkinson holds a Master Peace Officer certificate, and is certified as a Law Enforcement Instructor, Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor, Stop Stick Instructor, and Patrol Rifle Instructor.