Michael Barnett, Undersheriff

A/S Michael Barnett

Michael Barnett


Undersheriff Mike Barnett has been serving the people of San Diego County as a deputy sheriff since 1991. He worked as a deputy sheriff in the Detentions and Law Enforcement Bureaus, then as a field training officer at the Vista Station and a detective for several years in San Marcos and at the Major Crimes Division.

In 2001, he was promoted to sergeant and held assignments at the Vista Detention Facility, Vista Station, Internal Affairs Unit, and the Special Investigations Division.

In 2006, Undersheriff Barnett was promoted to lieutenant and was assigned again to the Vista Detention Facility, followed by several years in the Special Investigations Division, and then as the commanding officer of the Fallbrook Substation.

In 2011, he was promoted to captain and was selected by the city of San Marcos to command the San Marcos Station. Following a successful tour of duty there, he was selected to oversee the newly formed Information Led Policing Division and thereafter the Personnel Division.

After his promotion to commander in 2014, he oversaw the Human Resource Services Bureau and then the Law Enforcement Services Bureau, Investigations Branch.

In 2015, he was appointed as the assistant sheriff for the Law Enforcement Services Bureau where he oversaw all emergency and regional services for the county, as well as police services in the 9 cities that contract with the sheriff for law enforcement services and the 107 unincorporated communities in the county.

As undersheriff since 2017, he serves as the chief deputy of the elected sheriff overseeing all department operations and ensuring San Diego County remains the safest urban county in the nation. He is responsible for the department's $945 million budget and 4,415 authorized employees. The men and women of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department operate 20 patrol stations, 7 detention facilities, 7 Superior Court facilities and the related Civil Division, a nationally accredited Crime Laboratory, and other functions necessary to provide for public safety throughout San Diego County.

Undersheriff Barnett holds a Bachelor of Arts from San Diego State University and is a graduate of the California POST Executive Development Program. He also completed the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University and is currently enrolled in the FBI's National Executive Institute. He is a member of the Police Executive Research Forum, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, The San Diego Police Chiefs' and Sheriff's Association, and is a lifetime member of the California State Sheriff’s Association. He enjoys spending time with his wife and family at their home in North County, travelling to historic locations, and volunteering at his church.