Undersheriff Michael Barnett

San Diego County Undersheriff Michael Barnett has decided to retire but will remain second in command on a part-time basis into next year, the department announced Wednesday.

Barnett will retire Nov. 20 after 29-plus years spanning four different bureaus in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department — Law Enforcement, Detentions, Human Resources and Office of the Sheriff. He will convert to a “960” schedule — meaning he will work part-time on an hourly basis for up to 960 hours a year, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Barnett began with the department in 1991 and held various roles within the department before he was promoted to undersheriff in 2017.

“During his career, Mike has led teams at all levels of this organization which have significantly contributed to making San Diego the safest urban county in the nation,” Sheriff Bill Gore said in a statement.

Gore said as the region continues to meet challenges posed by the pandemic, civil unrest and “highly charged” national, state and local elections, he will rely on Barnett until a successor is chosen sometime in 2021.

“Join me in congratulating Undersheriff Mike Barnett on his nearly three decades of service and his well-deserved retirement,” Gore said in a statement. “I will personally miss his sage counsel and wish him all the best as he looks ahead to future opportunities.”

The Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement across more than 4,000 square miles in the county, including in cities that do not operate their own police departments. The department also runs a network of jails, a crime laboratory and provides security at seven county court facilities.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.