About the Kern County
Formed in 1866, the Kern County
Sheriff's Office is the oldest law enforcement agency in the county. The Sheriff
is the chief law enforcement officer in the county. In addition to providing police services to the unincorporated portions
of the county, the Sheriff has the responsibility for the jail system, providing bailiff and prisoner transportation service
to the courts, search and rescue, coroner services, and civil process (serving lawsuit papers).
Usually a city has its own
police department, however, several smaller cities, Tehachapi, Maricopa, McFarland and Wasco, contract with the Sheriff's
Office to provide police protection within their community. The Sheriff's Office has roughly 1,050 sworn, non-sworn, and civilian
employees. The 452 authorized sworn (peace officer) positions are deployed as deputies in the Bakersfield metropolitan patrol,
14 substations, detentions, detectives and other support positions. The Sheriff,
who also serves as the Coroner, is an elected official. All other ranks are county employees and fall under civil service
After ten years with the Kern County
Sheriff’s Office, Rick Van Horne began teaching in for the Kern High School District.
As a third-generation Bakersfield High School alumnus who became a Friday Night Hero, as did his father and son as championship players for the BHS Drillers. Rick Van Horne
began his coaching career at BHS in 1984. He later served as head coach at East High and Liberty High (where he guided his
team to a Valley Championship in 2001). In 1998, Rick Van Horne was selected All-Area Coach of the Year for football. Rick
Van Horne is the author of Friday Night Heroes:
100 Years of Driller Football.
According to the book description
of, Friday Night Heroes: 100 Years of Driller
Football it, “is the first comprehensive history of California’s best high school football program of
the 1900’s, the Bakersfield High School Drillers. The makings of an American football dynasty took shape in 1896 with
a first high school football game played amid the rolling farmlands and acres of oil derricks of the San Joaquin Valley of
California. The Bakersfield High School Drillers would lead the way in California from the early days of the new phenomenon
of high school football, and continue to enthrall fans throughout the 20th century. Author (and former BHS player and coach)
Rick Van Horne chronicles each decade of championship seasons, accompanied by engaging stories from on and off the field.
The book contains detailed player, team and season records, and profiles of all the players and coaches that made the Drillers
great. More than a decade of research, hundreds of interviews and previously unpublished personal diary excerpts contributed
to Friday Night Heroes, including the school’s role as the training ground for Frank Gifford and other later college
and professional football greats.”