Ken McGovern, a 20-year veteran of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, was promoted Monday to major and named the new undersheriff.
Sheriff Rick Trapp said he picked McGovern to be his second in command because of McGovern's experience and proven ability in law enforcement.
"He's going to be an outstanding undersheriff," Trapp said.
McGovern, 43, replaces Bill Shepard, who retired last week. McGovern has been the chief administrator at the Douglas County Jail for the past year.
He will continue to handle that job as well as additional duties as undersheriff because of the county's tight budget situation, Trapp said.
"It's a serious crisis," Trapp said. "We're all having to work harder. I'm grateful for his (McGovern's) willingness to do this."
McGovern said he had a big job ahead of him in replacing Shepard, who also had a long career with the sheriff's office. Shepard became undersheriff when Trapp was elected sheriff two years ago.
"He taught me a lot," McGovern said of Shepard. "I just want to be as much help to the sheriff as Major Shepard was."
McGovern will get a pay raise with his promotion from captain to major, although neither McGovern nor Trapp could say Monday what the new salary would be. They said it would be based on a department percentage scale and would be figured today by the personnel department. As captain and jail administrator, McGovern was paid $61,500 annually.
McGovern joined the sheriff's department in 1982 as a jail corrections officer. He continued to rise through the ranks and worked in the patrol unit.
Among the undersheriff's responsibilities are supervising training, providing community relations, recruiting new employees and working with the patrol unit, Trapp said.