Sheriff to promote new captain
Tulare County Sheriff Bill Wittman will promote Lt. Michael Watson to the rank of captain in front of his friends and family at 10 a.m. Monday at the Tulare County Sheriff’s headquarters’ lobby, 2404 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia.
Watson, a graduate of Tulare Union High School and Fresno State University with a bachelor’s in criminology, began his career with the sheriff’s department in April of 1988 as a trainee. After attending the Tulare-Kings County Police Academy, he held the position of deputy in both the corrections and operations divisions. The assignments included Return to Custody, Sequoia Field, Bob Wiley Detention Facility, Main Jail Porterville and Pixley Patrol, as well as a serving as a detective in the Property Crimes Investigations.
In January of 1998, Watson was promoted to the rank of sergeant. As a sergeant, Watson returned to the Custody Division, supervising teams at Main Jail and the Tulare County Correctional Center, before being transferred to the Pixley Patrol Substation in 1999.
In 2003, Watson moved into the Investigations Division, where he supervised Property Crimes Investigations and the Agricultural Crimes Investigations Unit.
In 2006, Watson was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and was stationed as a night watch commander for Patrol Services. He also managed the Field Training Program. And in 2007, he was transferred to Pixley Substation where he was in charge of the sheriff’s Police Activities League Program. In March of 2012, Watson took his last assignment as lieutenant over the Property Crimes Bureau.
Watson has also held specialty positions for a number of years. He is dive certified and has been involved with the sheriff’s Search and Rescue Swift Water and Dive Team for more than 20 years and has served on numerous boards, including the Deputy Sheriff’s Association Board as vice president, the PAL Board, Tulare County Employee’s Retirement Association, the Pixley Foundation vice president, Pixley Little League and Lions Club Board.
Watson is supported in his new career path by his father Edward Watson, who is a retired deputy from the TCSD, his wife Paula of 23 years, daughters Courtney and Caylie, his son Colton, his brother Lt. James Watson with Fresno State University Police and his nephew, investigator Ryan Richardson with the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.