Jeff Barry, program director with KCLU-FM (88.3), will leave his position at the public radio station Jan. 2 to join the Ventura County Sheriff's Department's training academy.
Barry, 24, who has been with the station for four years, said he'll enter the training academy's next class, which begins Jan. 8. Training will last seven months, he said.
"I have to start at the bottom and work my way up," said Barry, who received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Cal Lutheran University. "I'll be starting in the jail, but I'm hoping my master's degree helps me move up fast."
While he admits that becoming a deputy after a career chasing down news stories--first as a reporter and then as a radio program director--is unusual, there are actually many similarities between the jobs, Barry said.
"I learned with the best, but a lot of it is similar to when I was a reporter," Barry said. "You're making phone calls, you're questioning people, and you are trying to sort out what is truth and what is not."
Station officials are currently searching for a replacement for Barry. David Stringer will serve as interim program director until a permanent successor is hired.