Don Barnes is sworn in as Orange County’s new sheriff


Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes was sworn in Monday during a ceremony at his department’s regional training academy in Tustin.

Barnes, a 30-year veteran of the department, was handpicked by retiring Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, who had held the position since 2008. Barnes served as undersheriff prior to the November election, when he defeated opponent Duke Nguyen.

Barnes is the county’s 13th sheriff. His plans for the department include reducing the prevalence of drugs, enhancing school safety and mitigating the effects of homelessness.


The new sheriff is one of two new officials in the county’s top law enforcement positions. Todd Spitzer, a former county supervisor, was also sworn in as Orange County first new district attorney in two decades.