Robert A. Hardwick was officially sworn in Tuesday as the new St. Johns County Sheriff. He follows David B. Shoar, who served four terms beginning with his initial election in 2004.
Hardwick had received 69% of the vote in the primary contest against opponent Chris Strickland. He won the general election with 96% of the vote against a write-in candidate.
"This morning, with my family by my side, I officially took the oath of office as your sheriff of St. Johns County,” Hardwick said Tuesday. “As we embark on the 200th anniversary of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this agency. The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office is full of great men and women who put the safety and well-being of our citizens and visitors first."
Hardwick’s law enforcement career expands 26 years. Most recently, he served as the St. Augustine Beach chief of police, a position he had held since 2013.
Prior to that, he served in the 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office, the St. Augustine Police Department, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Corrections.
He is a combat veteran with 25 years of service in the U.S. Army and Florida Army National Guard. He and his wife, Kendell, have been married for 29 years and have two adult sons. They worship at St. John Paul II Catholic Church.
"I am excited to get to work as your sheriff and continue to serve our great county,” Hardwick said. “It is my number one priority to ensure St. Johns County remains the best place to live, work, play and raise a family."