Lieutenant Norton was born and raised in San Diego County and began his career at the Oceanside Police Department in 1998. As an officer, Lieutenant Norton held a variety of assignments including defensive tactics instructor, less lethal instructor, drug recognition expert, chemical agents instructor, SWAT operator, and field training officer. In 2004, he was chosen as one of the first members of the newly created uniformed Gang Suppression Unit. In 2006 he was selected as a gang detective for the Special Enforcement Section where he stayed until his promotion to sergeant in 2009.
As a sergeant, he was assigned as a patrol supervisor in the Field Operations Division and also served for seven years as a team leader on the SWAT Team and was the department’s emergency planner. In 2016 he went back to the Gang Suppression Unit as a supervisor until his promotion to lieutenant in February 2018. He is currently assigned as a watch commander in the Field Operations Division and continues his role as the department’s emergency planner and oversees the department’s body-worn camera and Explorer programs.
Lieutenant Norton holds an MS degree in Emergency Service Administration from California State University (CSU) Long Beach. His thesis focused on the primary mistakes law enforcement is making during the initial response phase to large-scale critical incidents and outlined the timeline of these events. He is an instructor for the National Tactical Officers Association, Field Command, and the California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO) where he teaches SWAT-related subjects, tactical science, and critical incident management. Lieutenant Norton is the team leader for the CATO After Action Review team that responds to incidents in the United States and Europe to glean lessons learned and improve the law enforcement response to future events. Additionally, he is on the CATO SWAT Operator Board of Certification which is the nation’s first-ever certification process for tactical operators.