NEWPORT BEACH — Orange County Sheriff's Department Lt. Tom Slayton said that if you look back at video from his swearing-in ceremony in 1986, you'll hear the emcee say Slayton's career goal was to work in the Harbor Patrol.
It's a unique agency within the Sheriff's Department, employees there say. You have to be well-versed in firefighting, boating and regular law enforcement, among other things.
But being a jack-of-all-trades wasn't what Slayton, 49, was drawn to.
"The Harbor Patrol's mission is unique among law enforcement organizations in Orange County," Slayton wrote in an e-mail. "Much of what we do is service-oriented, rather than enforcement-oriented, and I enjoyed the satisfaction and goodwill that comes from that."
Now, 25 years from taking his oath of duty, and more than 10 years since his first experience with the Harbor Patrol, Slayton is going back out in the water.
On Feb. 26, he'll take over as harbormaster from Mark Long, who is being promoted to captain and moving elsewhere in the Sheriff's Department.