Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, a 23-year department veteran is the first Asian American Sheriff in California. He is the son of a Japanese American father, Chinese American mother and husband of a Filipino American wife.
“Being the first sheriff of my heritage is humbling, and it gives me a sense of responsibility to be a role model,” he says. “But what I’d really like is for us to never have any more firsts. I’d like us to be on an equal footing. Hopefully, I’m a step on that path.”
“Visibility is everything,” Hing says of Miyamoto’s position. “When immigrants see someone who looks like them or is at least a person of color, that sends a very positive message.”
Miyamoto says he is foremost a law enforcement officer duty-bound to deliver on the civic promise of public safety. But he says he is also a proud product of a city that has a long history of helping immigrants and people of color and is eager to balance both.