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Bill Kolender became the 28th Sheriff of San Diego County on January 2, 1995, and has been re-elected three times.  His fourth term began in January 2007 and will continue until January 2011. 

Sheriff Kolender provides leadership to over 4,000 employees, including sworn and civilian support personnel.  He oversees a budget over $500 million. 

The Sheriff is responsible for three main services -- law enforcement, detentions, and courts. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement to 9 contract cities and the unincorporated areas of San Diego county.  The Sheriff operates 7 detention facilities and 11 separate court facilities.

Sheriff Kolender has been a career law enforcement professional, serving as Sheriff of the County of San Diego since 1995.  Prior to his election as Sheriff, for 13 years, he served as the Chief of  Police for the San Diego Police Department.  He was appointed Chief at only 40 years old and was considered one of the youngest big-city police chiefs in the nation.  He retired from the San Diego Police Department in 1988. 

Sheriff Kolender served as the Director of the California Youth Authority (CYA), appointed by Governor Pete Wilson on September 23, 1991.  The California Youth Authority is the largest youth correctional agency in the nation.  Prior to his appointment as Director of the Youth Authority, Kolender served as Assistant to the Publisher of the Union-Tribune Publishing Company, which publishes the San Diego Union-Tribune in California’s second largest city.

As Sheriff, Kolender participates in many state-wide activities.  He is an appointee of the Governor of the State of California to the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.  He represents California on the Western States Information Network (WSIN) Board of Directors, along with the State Attorney General.  He is the immediate past President of the California State Sheriffs’ Association (CSSA), a lifetime member of CSSA, and serves as a member of the National Executive Institute.

Sheriff Kolender is on the Board of Directors and an active member of several community-based law enforcement and charitable organizations including the San Diego County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association and Training & Education for Retarded Individuals (TERI).

Sheriff Kolender's career includes the following:
Appointee of the Governor of the State of California on the California Board of Corrections
Commissioner for the Governor of the State of California on the State of California’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) (2 terms, serving as Chair from 2001-2002)
Board member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
Past President of the Major City Police Chiefs’ Association
Chairman of the Task Force that integrated the San Diego City Schools
Past President of the San Diego Police Officers’ Association
Past President of the California Council on Criminal Justice (CCCJ) 
Past President of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors (8 years)

Sheriff Kolender has received many honors over the years including the following:
Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the San Diego Police Historical Association (2006)
Courageous Leadership Award by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce (2004)
John M. Penrith Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement Administration given by the alumni and foundation of the National Executive Institute (June 1999)
Neil Morgan Award by LEAD San Diego for exemplary leadership (May 1999)
San Diego State University Outstanding Alumnus (1985)
Urban League’s Equal Opportunity Award (1981)
Golden Man and Boy Award (1984)
Diogenes Award for Truth and Honesty in Government presented by the San Diego Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (1978)

Sheriff Kolender is a native of Chicago, Illinois.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Affairs and Public Administration from San Diego State University in 1964.

Sheriff Kolender and his wife, Lois, have four children: Michael, Jodi, Randie and Dennis.


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