A special ceremony was held Thursday to introduce over a dozen new hires for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Among family and friends, these new staff members took their oath to protect and serve the citizens of Jefferson County.

The 18 new hires were introduced in the ceremony was held at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.

“It's really exciting, it's a new change, I can't wait to go out there and give it my all to Jefferson County and all the citizens,” says Brigitte Hazleton, newly inducted deputy.

And like Hazleton, 17 other new hires were introduced.

“Most of them and many have been with us since January the 1st, we haven’t had the opportunity to recognize then and we finally took this opportunity to recognize them,” says Sheriff Zena Stephens.

With new leadership comes new ideas, hoping to change the diverse spectrum and open new doors around the community.

“It's diverse, and so is our community,” says Sheriff Stephens.

“Police officers should reflect the community, I said that throughout the campaign,” Stephens says.

“I have women, men, people of different backgrounds and LGBT community, and it’s a reflection of our community and what it should be to have consistency,” She explains.

The new deputies receiving badges, hoping to build bridges across the community.

“It's our job to go out and do good to be there for them,” Hazleton explains.

Also at the ceremony, the department promoted 10 new staff members that include Sergeants, Lieutenants, Majors, and Assistant Deputy Chief.