Sheriff of Orange County

Michael S. Carona, the grandson of Sicilian immigrants was born in Santa Monica, California in 1955.  Upon graduating from the Orange County Sheriff's Department Academy in 1976, he began his law enforcement career as a Deputy with the Orange County Marshal's Department, where he quickly established a distinguished record of service while still continuing his formal educational endeavors.  Michael Carona has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management and two Master of Arts Degrees in Management.

In 1988, after competing in a nationwide selection process, Michael Carona, at the age of 33 was selected as Marshal of Orange County, and became the youngest department head in Orange County.  He is a graduate of the prestigious FBI LEEDS Program and National Executive Institute and the California Peace Officers Standards and Training Command College.  He is an arbitrator for the New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges and the National Association of Securities Dealers. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of numerous philanthropic organizations, Michael Carona has was appointed to the Fraud Assessment Commission by Governor Wilson and, most recently, was appointed as Chairman of the California Council on Criminal Justice by Governor Gray Davis.

In 1998, Michael Carona was elected as the eleventh Sheriff in the history of Orange County and the first in 56 years to come from outside the ranks of the department.  Upon assuming the Office of Sheriff, in January of 1999, Michael Carona became responsible for leading the largest law enforcement agency in Orange County, the 2nd largest Sheriff's Department in the State of California and the 5th largest Sheriff's Department in the nation.  His department is comprised of nearly 4000 members, with an operating budget of approximately $500 million and operates the 6th largest jail system in the country, fulfills the needs of the county court system and provides every facet of law enforcement services to over 600,000 individuals in twelve contract cities and 253 square miles of unincorporated area.

In very short order, Sheriff Carona has earned the respect of the men and women within his department and established himself as one of law enforcement's most powerful leaders.  Among the numerous distinctions he has received have been the Law Enforcement Commendation Medal from the Sons of the American Revolution.  He was also selected as “Manager of the Year” for Public Safety in 1999 by the Society for the Advancement of Management, was given the  "Bridge Builder" Award from the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Orange County, “Humanitarian of the Year” by the National Conference for Community and Justice, “Man of the Year” by the Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce and the recipient of the “Visionary Award” from the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America.  A strong advocate for issues related to young people, Michael Carona serves on the executive committee for the Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse, has received the "American Hero Award" from the Celebrity Foundation for Children and has co-authored a book entitled "Save My Son", which proposes progressive new models within the criminal justice system for reclaiming the lives of substance-abuse offenders.



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