Joe Lopinto sworn in as interim Jefferson Parish sheriff

GRETNA, La. -- There's a new sheriff in Jefferson Parish.

Joseph Lopinto, who served as JPSO's chief of operations and chief criminal deputy, was sworn in as interim sheriff Thursday afternoon.

He's taking the place of Newell Normand, who announced his retirement in late July. Normand replaced Garland Robinette on the WWL radio airwaves.

A close ally of longtime sheriff Harry Lee, Normand took over as the top cop in Jefferson Parish after Lee’s death in 2007.

Normand said he has been grooming Lopinto for the job in much the same way that Lee prepared him to take the reigns in Jefferson Parish.

"I'm proud to be bringing this organization further and further to the future," Lopinto said.  "We don't stay stagnant.  We aren't the sheriff's office of the 1800s, we aren't the sheriff's office of the 1900s, we aren't the sheriff's office that we were five years ago.   We are going to continue to keep moving forward because we have to evolve."

Lopinto will serve as interim sheriff until the Jefferson Parish Council calls for a special election. Lopinto said he plans to run for sheriff.