Photo courtesy of San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office

On Saturday, January 7, 2023, San Mateo County Sheriff-elect Christina Corpus took the stage at College of San Mateo (CSM) in front of more than 600 attendees to take her oath of office. As the first female sheriff in San Mateo County since the department’s inception in 1856, and one of the first Latina sheriffs in the state, the event marked a significant milestone in her 22-year law enforcement career.

The afternoon program began with bagpipes and the presentation of colors, followed by an invocation and the national anthem sung by CSM music student Laura Oliver. Next, CSM President Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza welcomed the audience and congratulated Corpus on her new role. Author and non-profit cofounder Elizabeth Quiroz then took the stage to share an emotional story of how Corpus helped her turn her life around. Retired Marine Colonel William Peacock followed Quiroz, and State Senator Josh Becker provided remarks before the oath of office was conducted.

After the oath, the entire house gave a standing ovation to Corpus before she provided her closing remarks, “This is where it all started for me, right here at College of San Mateo, where I attended the Police Academy.”

Her path into law enforcement began when she was just 16. While waiting to pick up a friend at Tanforan Mall, an armed man attempted to carjack her. A struggle ensued, and Corpus fought off the attacker.

Left shaken and scared, the police officers that arrived on the scene that day altered the trajectory of her life forever. “They made a terrified 16-year-old girl feel safe. The officers consoled me and helped me navigate through a very traumatic circumstance. They treated me with respect, compassion, empathy, and dignity.” Corpus shared how that experience informs her perspective on community policing to this day.

Looking forward, Corpus shared her vision, “One of my top priorities will be to implement new incentives, improve working conditions, and instill a culture of support and mentorship in our organization.” She also noted the imperative to change the mental wellness culture in law enforcement, saying, “As sheriff, I will implement a robust mental wellness program for our organization… it’s time to break the stigma.”

Corpus closed her remarks with a dose of inspiration, saying, “If I can leave you all with something today, it’s that you should never underestimate your ability to make everlasting changes in the lives of others. Each of us has an extraordinary capacity to inspire and motivate.”

College of San Mateo congratulates Sheriff Corpus on her historic accomplishment and looks forward to working with her in service to our community. Watch the full event on YouTube.