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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Police Chief Reassigned to Administrative Post at Jail

September 06, 2000

OJAI — Jim Barrett, this small community's police chief, has been reassigned to an administrative post at the county jail in what authorities said was a routine rotation of captains at the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

A total of 11 captains moved to new positions at the same time. Gary Pentis, captain of patrol services at the Camarillo Police Station, replaces Barrett.

Barrett, 52, a 28-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department and an Ojai resident, served longer in Ojai than any other captain since the city began contracting with the department for police services in 1980.

Barrett's stint saw several crimes that rocked the close-knit town: the search for two serial rapists during the first month he was on the job, the execution-style murder of Deputy Peter Aguirre in 1996, the 1997 beating death of Ventura resident Nick Dowey at a party, the murder of Ojai teen Kali Manley and the search for Manley's body at Christmastime in 1998.

More recently, Barrett's son, Jonathan, 18, was arrested for accidentally starting the devastating 4,300-acre Ranch Fire in December 1999. He and another youth were spared jail time and ordered to serve 1,000 hours of community service and five years' probation, and pay $150 in restitution.

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