NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Sheriff-elect Paul Heroux got his first look at the inner workings of the Bristol County Jail and House of Corrections Tuesday.

Heroux toured both the Ash Street Jail in New Bedford and the House of Corrections in Dartmouth alongside outgoing Sheriff Thomas Hodgson.

The Attleboro mayor defeated Hodgson in last month’s election, ousting him from the position he’s held for the past 25 years. Heroux was the first challenger to run against Hodgson in 12 years.

“The people have spoken and it’s important to have a smooth transition,” Hodgson said. “I had a great run … it’s been a real opportunity and a blessing.”

Heroux said he plans on only serving one or two terms before giving “someone else a chance to make the system a better system.”

“I want to reassure people that I’m not going to be a sheriff for life,” he said.

Heroux’s top priorities as sheriff include keeping people safe, boosting staff morale and addressing recidivism among inmates.

While he acknowledged that he will do things a bit differently from Hodgson, Heroux doesn’t plan on making any drastic changes.

“I wanted to give people as much peace of mind to know that I’m not going to come in and get rid of everybody,” he said. “If I did that, I’d be throwing out a lot of institutional knowledge. I would be disruptive to operations.”

Heroux is expected to begin his six-year term as sheriff in January.