Damon McMinn will take over on March 1

A Kern County Sheriff's lieutenant has been hired by the City of Taft as its next chief of police.

City Manager Craig Jones confirmed this week that Lt. Damon McMinn, the son of former Taft Chief of Police Ken McMinn, accepted the job.

McMinn will take over on March 1 when Ed Whiting ends more than three decades on the Taft Police force with his retirement after 5 years as chief.

Whiting became chief when Ken McMinn stepped retired in December 2011 after four years as chief.

Damon McMinn actually started in Taft as a correctional officer at the Taft Community Correctional Facility in the 1990s.

He has spent most of his career in the Kern County Sheriff's Office where he rose through the ranks from patrol to deputy.

He is currently in charge of the jail division but has held a variety of positions and several years ago was the supervisor of the south area substations, including Taft.