Undersheriff Jim Peterson, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office second-in-command since March 2011, abruptly retired from his post last week after more than 30 years of service with the department. Peterson was responsible for many of the department’s day-to-day operations and acted in Sheriff Bill Brown’s stead when he was out of town. Peterson, who said he was leaving for “personal reasons,” gave Brown his notice on 10/14, notified staff via email on 10/15, and was gone by 10/16. “His announcement came as a surprise to many in the Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover. Chief Deputy of Law Enforcement Operations Don Patterson will act as undersheriff until a permanent replacement is found, she said.