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Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office promotes five

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 20th, 2012

SANTA CRUZ — Five deputies at the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office have been promoted.

Jeremy Verinsky, who joined the office in 1995, has been promoted to chief deputy. He has served in patrol and community policing as a school resource officer. After being promoted to sergeant in 2003, he also worked in investigations and the Administration Bureau. As a lieutenant, Verinsky served in the Corrections Bureau as a Main Jail commander and leader of the Custody Alternatives Program. He has also served as a firearms range master, alternate field training officer and SWAT team member.

Todd Liberty, who served as a member of the sheriff’s SWAT team for more than 21 years, was promoted to lieutenant. He started at the sheriff’s office in 1989 as worked as a detective, firearms instructor, and a use of force instructor. Liberty has also served in community policing, professional standards and conduct, and supervised the Sexual Assault Unit.

After 21 years at the sheriff’s office, Steve Carney has been promoted to lieutenant. He has held positions as a narcotics investigator assigned to a State Department of Justice Narcotics Task Force, court bailiff, and field training officer. Lt. Carney has held positions in the Operations Bureau as a patrol supervisor, narcotics team supervisor and field training officer program supervisor. His latest assignment was the Administration Bureau, where he supervised recruitment, hiring, training and media relations. He was a member of the SWAT team for 14 years and is a lifetime member of the California Narcotics Officers Association.

John Habermehl was promoted to sergeant. He has been in law enforcement for the last 16 years and previously worked at the Turlock and Modesto police departments. Habermehl’s prior experience includes bike patrol officer in Community Policing, dual sport motorcycle officer, and field training officer. Besides working in the Investigations Sex Crimes Unit, he is also a member of the SWAT Team. During 2010, Sergeant Habermehl entered an apartment fire and pulled a sleeping man from the building. He was credited with a Sheriff’s Office Silver Medal of Valor and the Red Cross Hero’s Award for his life saving efforts.

Chris Clark, who has been in law enforcement for more than six years and is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, was promoted to sergeant. Clark is also a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidate School and U.S. Air Force ROTC program, where he became a pilot. Following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, Clark began his law enforcement career with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office. He holds basic, intermediate and advanced certificates from the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and is currently near completion of his Master’s degree in emergency services administration from California State University, Long Beach. Upon promotion, Sergeant Clark will be assigned to the Sheriff’s Operations Bureau as a patrol sergeant.

Sergeant Clark left the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office for employment at the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department. After completing field training, Sergeant Clark was assigned to corrections at the Sacramento Main Jail.

In 2008, Sergeant Clark returned to the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office. Since his return, Sergeant Clark has been assigned to the Operations Bureau as a patrol deputy, as well as the Investigations Division, where he has been assigned for the last 3 1/2 years as a person crimes/gang detective.

In 2011, Sergeant Clark was awarded the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office Bronze Distinguished Service Medal for his actions during the investigation and arrest of a homicide suspect. Sergeant Clark is a pilot on the Sheriff’s Office Air Unit, peer support team member, and board member on the Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

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