Sheriff’s Sgt. Gary L. Thornton was honored at a retirement party Tuesday, July 26th, at Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club.

Thornton spent 33 years with the county and at various times was assigned to county offices in Santa Clarita and Malibu, as well as Marina del Rey.

Over the years, his titles changed from watch commander to dive team leader to assistant harbormaster.

In May 1997, he became assistant harbormaster at the Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station.

Earlier, he had been a member of the County Department of Beaches and Harbors when the Harbor Patrol was part of that county department.

Thornton and his wife, Toni, plan to keep their 12-meter Trojan powerboat in the Marina.

Thornton received letters and scrolls of congratulations, including a letter from President Bush “commending Sgt. Thornton for his safety and courage and participation in bringing criminals to justice.”

A letter to Thornton also came from Governor Schwarzenegger.

Sheriff’s Commander Willie Miller presented Thornton with the Distinguished Service Award and Medal on behalf of his associates in the Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s Capt. Sam Dacus, former commanding officer of the Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station presented Thornton with the Sheriff’s Relief Association Plaque.