However, he said based on Jernigan's education and his performance he was the best choice.
Jernigan, unavailable for comment because he was out of town on assignment today, has a master's degree, graduated from the FBI academy and will graduate in the next month from California Command College.
"That shows a commitment toward education and development," Carter said.
He added it's important that the assistant sheriff have a similar management philosophy to the sheriff because the person in that position will be responsible for the day-to-day operations and direction of the department.
As Jernigan takes on the new role, his position as chief deputy in charge of investigations, the Coroner's Office, identification, automation and narcotics units will be filled by Chief Deputy Jesse Lopez, who had headed east county operations.
Chief Deputy David Prince will, on a part-time basis, manage east county operations. The sergeant in the Winterhaven substation will manage the day-to-day operations in that office.
While Jernigan has been named assistant sheriff, his stay in that position may be short- lived.
Carter said he is working toward changing the position to the title of under sheriff as part of reorganization the management of the department.
Carter said it is likely that Jernigan would be named under sheriff once that reorganization is finished, but added that would have to be decided at that stage.
>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.