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Sheriff's Office Promotes Five

The men are advancing to ranks of Chief Deputy, Lieutenant, and Sergeant.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office is proud to announce five new promotions within the Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Jeremy Verinsky
Chief Deputy Jeremy Verinsky joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1995. He worked as a Reserve Deputy until being hired as a Deputy Sheriff and attended the Gavilan College Police Academy where he obtained his basic P.O.S.T. certificate in 1997.

As a Deputy Sheriff, Chief Verinsky served in Patrol and Community Policing as a School Resource Officer. Chief Verinsky was promoted to Sergeant in 2003, where he worked in Patrol, Community Policing, Investigations and the Administration Bureau. Chief Verinsky was promoted to Lieutenant in 2010. Since that time he has has served in the Corrections Bureau as a Main Jail Commander and leader of the Custody Alternatives Program.

During his tenure with the Sheriff’s Office, Chief Verinsky has been a Firearms Range Master, Alternate Field Training Officer and SWAT Team Member. As a Sergeant, Chief Verinsky ran the Search and Rescue Team, Firearms Team and served as a Team Leader on the SWAT Team. As a Lieutenant, Chief Verinsky has been instrumental with the implementation of the Lexipol policy manual and development of the Custody Alternative Program (CAP) in the Corrections Bureau.

Chief Verinsky has been married 21 years and they have two boys, ages 7 and 4. Chief Verinsky is a Santa Cruz native and graduate of Santa Cruz High School. He has an Associate of Science degree from Cabrillo College in Criminal Justice.

Upon promotion, Chief Deputy Verinsky will assume complete oversight of the Sheriff’s Office Correctional Facilities.

Lieutenant Todd Liberty
Lieutenant Todd Liberty started with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office in 1989.

Todd has been assigned to various positions during his career, to include Field Training Officer, Detective, Firearms Instructor, and a Use of Force Instructor. Lieutenant Liberty was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2004. As a Sergeant in Operations he served in Community Policing, Professional Standards and Conduct, and supervised the Sexual Assault Unit. He served as a member of the Sheriff’s SWAT Team for more than 21 years, ending his tenure as a Team Leader.

Lt. Liberty is pursuing his degree in Criminal Justice through Cabrillo College. Lieutenant Liberty has previously attended San Jose State University and Gavilan College where he obtained his Basic P.O.S.T. certificate. Lieutenant Liberty holds a Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Supervisor’s certificates from the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards in Training. He has been an instructor on a variety of subject matters to include Firearms, Taser and Use of Force.

Lt. Liberty is a lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County and has a 12-year-old son.

Upon promotion, Lt. Liberty will be assigned to the Operations Bureau of the Sheriff’s Office, where he will oversee patrol operations.

Lieutenant Steve Carney
Lt. Steve Carney has been in law enforcement for 21 years and joined the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office as a lateral Deputy Sheriff in 1995. While at the Sheriff’s Office, 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 was promoted to Sheriff’s Sergeant in 2002. He 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. Lieutenant Carney was a member of the Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. Team for 14 years and is a lifetime member of the California Narcotics Officers Association.

Lt. Carney worked as a Police Officer in the City of Capitola from 1991 through 1995 and was a police canine handler during most of his tenure at the Capitola Police Department. During 1990, Steve was Reserve Police Officer for the City of Scotts Valley.

Lt. Carney is a lifetime resident of Santa Cruz County and is currently attending Cabrillo College completing his associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. Steve attended Gavilan College where he earned his P.O.S.T. certification as a peace officer and will graduate from the P.O.S.T. Sherman Block Leadership Institute in December 2012.

Lt. Carney has been married to his wife for 22 years and they have two children. Their 19-year-old son currently attends Sonoma State University and works for San Rafael Police Department. Their 17-year-old daughter attends a local high school with plans to attend Sonoma State University in the fall of 2013.

Upon his promotion Lt. Carney will oversee the Community Policing Division.

Sergeant John Habermehl
John Habermehl is 37 years old and has been in law enforcement for the last 16 years.

John came to Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office in 2008 as a lateral Deputy Sheriff. Prior to the Sheriff’s Office, Sergeant Habermehl worked at Turlock Police Department for 4 years and Modesto Police Department for 7 ½ years. His prior experience includes Bike Patrol Officer in Community Policing, Dual Sport Motorcycle Officer, and Field Training Officer. John has worked in the Sheriff’s Office Operations Bureau as a Patrol Deputy, Field Training Officer and Bicycle Instructor. He has been temporarily assigned to the Investigations Sex Crimes Unit John is also a member of the Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. 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.

Sgt. Habermehl is pursuing his degree in Criminal Justice through Cabrillo College. He attended the Modesto Police Academy in 1995 where he obtained his Basic P.O.S.T. Certificate. John also holds an Intermediate and Advanced certificates from the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards in Training. Sgt. Habermehl has been an instructor on a variety of subject matters including Bike Patrol, Arrest & Control Tactics, and Stop Stick Training.

Upon promotion, Sgt. Habermehl will be assigned to the San Lorenzo Valley Service Center which is part of the Sheriff’s Office Community Policing Division.

Sergeant Chris Clark
Sgt. Chris Clark has been in law enforcement for approximately 6 1/2 years and is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Sgt. Clark is also a graduate of the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School and U.S. Air Force ROTC program, where he became a pilot. Sgt. Clark completed introductory flight training earning his pilot’s license in 2004.

Following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, Sgt. Clark began his law enforcement career with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office in 2006. Sergeant Clark attended the basic police academy at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose. Following field training, Clark was assigned to the Operations Bureau as a Patrol Deputy. In 2008, Sergeant Clark left the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office for employment at the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department. After completing field training Sgt. Clark was assigned to Corrections at the Sacramento Main Jail.

In 2008, Sgt. Clark returned to the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office. Since his return Sgt. 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, Sgt. 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. Sgt. Clark is a pilot on the Sheriff’s Office Air unit, Peer Support Team member, and Board member on the Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Sgt. Clark 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, Sgt. Clark will be assigned to the Sheriff’s Operations Bureau as a Patrol Sergeant.

—Contributed by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office

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