HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — There’s a new sheriff in town in Hillsborough County.

On Sunday, newly-appointed interim Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister joined News Channel 8 for an exclusive interview. Chronister was appointed interim sheriff by Governor Rick Scott on Thursday.

The move comes on the heels of Sheriff David Gee’s decision to retire.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be under his mentoring,” Chronister said of Gee.

Chronister has worked his way up the ranks for the past 25 years, working for Gee for most of them. He says Gee is leaving the agency with momentum.

“Use that momentum for crime reduction, crime prevention, with a heavy concentration on community outreach,” Chronister said.

Part of the crime reduction includes several arrests in a rash of gun store and car burglaries, resulting in weapons put in the wrong hands.

“Where we need help is the Joe Blow gun owner (needs) to properly store and stow that firearm,” Chronister said. “They could keep the guns in a safe, not in a glass display case so we can certainly make it more difficult for the thieves to get the guns.”

Chronister also spoke with us about the opioid crisis, saying combatting it will take a combination of rehabilitation and prison time.

“We’re going to be targeting those dealers whether it be street dealers or someone that has a prescription pad,” he said. “This certainly isn’t a program, or problem, we’re going to arrest our way out of.”

STORIES OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON-

>> BACK TO TOP-CLICKED STORIES