Surrounded by family, Sheriff Erik Apperson announced his resignation, effective October 1, at a Del Norte Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.

Apperson said he and his family would be moving, as they recently discovered their medical needs cannot be met in Del Norte. He also said he will be pursuing a career change outside of law enforcement.

“I need to show my wife and children what sort of father and husband I can be, not what sort of Sheriff I am. They have stood beside me, as they are now, throughout this entire process. They are the best part of me and I need to love them accordingly,” said Apperson.

Apperson’s career in law enforcement began in 1995 as a volunteer for the Explorers Program at the sheriff’s office. In 1998, he began getting paid for it as a correctional officer at the juvenile hall, and later the Del Norte County Jail. In 2000, he was hired to the Crescent City Police Department and began his duties in 2001 after graduating from the police academy.

In 2014, Apperson was elected as sheriff and was sworn-in the following year. He became the youngest sheriff in the state at the time at 36-years old. In 2018, he was re-elected and is currently serving in a term set to expire in 2022.

During his announcement, Apperson said serving as sheriff in his hometown has been a dream come true.

“I can still remember being 15 years-old and telling a coworker at Payless that someday I will be sheriff. This community has always given me more opportunities than I deserved, and allowed me to dream big.”

In closing, Apperson recommended the board appoint Undersheriff Randy Waltz to serve the remainder of Apperson’s term.

Waltz was only recently hired as undersheriff a little more than a year ago, but the law enforcement veteran said he felt prepared to take over the sheriff's office in an interview with the Triplicate.

“It’s certainly not what I planned on, but I’ve had a lot of talks with the sheriff and with my wife, and I’ve decided it’s something I’m ready for,” said Waltz.

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