Former county sheriff Bill Kolender died today (October 6) after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, according to a San Diego County Sheriff's Department press release. He was 80 years old.
He joined the police department in 1956 as a patrol officer. In 1975, at age 40, he was appointed chief of police. In 1988, he retired and worked briefly for the San Diego Union-Tribune. He was appointed by then-governor Pete Wilson to serve as director of the California Youth Authority. He became San Diego County sheriff in 1995. Voters relected him three times. He retired in 2009.