County supervisors advance 3 nominees for acting sheriff

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday put forward three nominees who will be considered for acting sheriff next week.

Michael Barletta, Edwin Brock and Anthony Ray are all veterans of law enforcement. Barletta and Brock previously worked in the sheriff’s department. Barletta, who retired as a commander, is now an instructor and consultant. Brock — who retired as a lieutenant and was in charge of San Marcos Station — is police chief in Arvin, a town in Kern County.

Ray is a San Diego County Deputy Sheriff who oversees courts and human resources.

A fourth candidate, Hank Turner, recently withdrew from the exam.

The board will meet again on March 22 to choose the replacement, who will serve until January, when the winner of the November election takes over.

Barletta, who comes from a military family and raised his three children in San Diego County, told the board he provides “unparalleled experience that the department needs … during this time of transition.” Barletta said he will address state auditors’ report on deaths in prison, use data-driven policing methods and ensure resources are directed where the need exists.

Brock stressed that working with the community is very important and that his leadership style would “humanize the badge.”

“It’s very important that we connect with the community,” he added.

Brock also said he’s not afraid the department will change course to demonstrate its willingness to listen to residents.

Ray bragged about his years with the department, his training and his involvement with the NAACP. In terms of recruiting, “if we don’t have public trust, it’s hard to get people through,” he said. “I believe success comes from hard work and strong leadership”*

Supervisors’ questions covered topics such as turning over undocumented immigrants to U.S. customs and immigration enforcement, recruiting more deputies, upholding residents’ civil rights, and reduction in the number of lawsuits filed against the department.

During a public comment period, several speakers — including David Leonhardi, president of the San Diego County Association of Deputy Sheriffs — urged council to select Ray, based on his experience and community involvement.

Whoever is selected will temporarily replace Bill Gore, who resigned last month after serving in the role for a dozen years.

Gore, 74, announced last summer that he would not run again this year.

Officially seeking the position so far in the upcoming election, Deputy Sheriff Kelly Martinez, former Cmdr. David Myers, San Diego Assistant City Attorney John Hemmerling and Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Newsom.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

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