Martinez replaces outgoing Undersheriff Mike Barnett, who is retiring after 29 years of service with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
A 36-year member of the regional law enforcement agency, Martinez initially was a deputy assigned to the Descanso and Las Colinas detention facilities. Three years into her career with the department, she was posted in 1988 to the Fallbrook Sheriff’s Substation, where she worked as a patrol deputy.
Martinez went on to assignments in investigations and worked narcotics, gang crimes, and several intelligence-related matters, according to sheriff’s public affairs. In 2007 she was promoted to sergeant, and over the next several years earned the ranks of lieutenant, captain, commander and, in 2017, assistant sheriff.
“Kelly brings to the position exceptional work ethic and commitment to the mission of the department,” Gore said. “I am confident her wealth of experience and passion for community outreach will keep San Diego the safest urban county in the nation.”