SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors advanced three candidates Tuesday who will be considered next week as interim sheriff.

From left: Law enforcement veterans Michael Barletta, Edwin Brock and Anthony Ray are the three candidates being considered to serve as interim sheriff of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. All three appeared before the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (Photos courtesy of San Diego County)

Michael Barletta, Edwin Brock and Anthony Ray are all law enforcement veterans. 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 the San Marcos station — serves as chief of police in Arvin, a city in Kern County.

Ray is an assistant San Diego County sheriff who oversees courts and human resources.

A fourth nominee, Hank Turner, recently withdrew from consideration.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supervisors’ questions covered topics such as turning over undocumented immigrants over to U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement, recruiting more deputies, respecting residents’ civil rights, and reducing the number of lawsuits filed against the department.

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

Whoever is selected will serve as the temporary replacement for Bill Gore, who stepped down last month after serving a dozen years in the position.

The 74-year-old Gore announced last summer that he would not seek re-election this year.

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

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