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FARMINGTON — Undersheriff Ron Anderson will retire from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office at the end of the year after 20 years of service in local law enforcement.

Anderson will be replaced Jan. 1 by Capt. Shane Ferrari, a Farmington High School graduate who began his law enforcement career as a reserve deputy with the sheriff's office in 1998.

Ferrari said Tuesday that he has served in a variety of roles while employed at the sheriff's office, including a three-year stint with the Region II Narcotics Taskforce beginning in 2006.

"I have had the opportunity to become well-rounded in the sheriff's office, serving in the different divisions that I have," he said.

Ferrari, a 2012 graduate of the FBI National Academy, was promoted from special operations lieutenant to operations captain in August, replacing former sheriff's office Capt. Shane Utley.

Before that, he worked as a detective, patrol sergeant and patrol lieutenant.

Sheriff Ken Christesen said he has had the opportunity to work with Ferrari throughout his career.

"He has the right mindset," Christesen said. "He is proactive and always has been honest and intelligent."

Christesen was equally effusive in discussing Anderson's role as undersheriff.

"Ron is one of the hardest working, most honest men that I have met in my life," he said. "I can promise you that the job that Ron Anderson did as undersheriff made it possible for us to be at this point and to have all the successes under our belt."

Anderson joined the San Juan County Sheriff's Office as undersheriff in 2011 after 17 years of service with the Farmington Police Department. He and Christesen first worked together at the Region II Narcotics Taskforce.

The undersheriff is responsible for managing the office budget, supervising employees and serving as acting sheriff when the sheriff is absent or incapacitated.

The undersheriff serves at the pleasure of the sheriff.

Anderson said he will likely relocate to either Colorado or Wyoming once he is officially retired to be closer to family. He said he will be in contact with Ferrari until then, however, and urged the new undersheriff to be cautious in his decisions.

"The big thing is to take everything slow and to not make any changes until you understand the consequences of those changes," he said. "Every change has a ripple effect. He is a really bright man. He'll do a real good job."

Anderson said he is proud of the changes made at the sheriff's office since he became undersheriff, particularly the office's efforts to stop crimes committed against children.

Anderson's retirement will result in several internal promotions at the office.

On Jan. 4, Detective Lt. Cory Tanner will replace Ferrari as operations captain. Tanner has served with the sheriff's office for 12 years and was promoted to lieutenant in 2011. He is an Aztec High School graduate.

Sgt. Kyle Lincoln will replace Tanner as detective lieutenant. He has worked for 16 years at the sheriff's office and was promoted to sergeant in 2011. He is a Kirtland High School graduate.

On Jan. 28, Sgt. Alan Jamison will be promoted to patrol lieutenant and will join the recently promoted patrol Lt. David Pixton, formerly a sergeant.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and stgarrison@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.

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