Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Sheriff Kelly A. Martinez takes office

Becomes San Diego County's 31st sheriff

SAN DIEGO – Kelly A. Martinez officially took office as the new sheriff for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Monday, Jan. 2.

On Dec. 16, Martinez took the formal oath as San Diego County's 31st sheriff.

A ceremonial swearing-in event took place Monday, Jan. 9, where she will take her oath of office before the public.

"I am honored to have been elected as the next Sheriff of San Diego County," Martinez said. "There is no greater responsibility than to be entrusted with the safety of the public. I am committed to fulfilling that obligation and I am grateful for the opportunity. I will continue to carry out my promise to improve San Diego jails, hire and retain staff and keep our communities safe."

Sheriff Martinez has served the residents of San Diego County with the sheriff's department since 1985. She began her career as a deputy working in county jails. Her first patrol assignment was in the community of Fallbrook. Martinez was an investigator and worked several assignments, including drug and gang enforcement in the North County and the Criminal Intelligence Detail.

During her time as a sergeant, Martinez supervised a patrol team in the city of San Marcos before being selected to supervise investigators in the Criminal Intelligence Detail. Her next assignment was to investigate employee misconduct in the Sheriff's Internal Affairs Unit before being promoted to lieutenant. Martinez served the cities of Encinitas, Del Mar and Solana Beach, as well as the communities of Rancho Santa Fe and Valley Center. As a lieutenant, she also oversaw the sheriff's department's participation in the Drug Enforcement Administration's Narcotics Task Force.

As a captain, Martinez served the community of Alpine and the rural areas of San Diego County. She was later promoted to commander and led the sheriff's investigation units. Martinez' appointment to assistant sheriff put her in charge of the Law Enforcement Services Bureau, which encompasses the sheriff's patrol operations, investigative units, Regional Crime Laboratory, Communications Center and Emergency Services Division.

In 2021, Martinez was appointed as the undersheriff and in that capacity, she was in charge of the day-to-day operations of the sheriff's department.

As sheriff, Martinez will lead a department that is responsible for providing law enforcement services to 4,200 square miles of unincorporated San Diego County, nine contract cities, seven jails and security for the courthouses. She is responsible for the sheriff's department's $1.165 billion budget and more than 4,700 authorized employees.

Martinez has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration. She holds several Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training certificates including a basic, advanced, supervisory and management POST. Martinez is also a graduate of the POST Command College. She is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the San Diego Police Chiefs' and Sheriff's Association, as well as a lifetime member of the California State Sheriff's Association.

Martinez is a San Diego native and committed to public safety.

Submitted by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.


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