LIVINGSTON — Ronnie Cotton, the director of the 911 program in Livingston Parish for the past eight years, is retiring.

Jack Varnado has been hired to take over the post, according to a news release the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office issued Wednesday.

Cotton worked his way through the ranks during his 30 years with the Sheriff’s Office.

He started his career as a corrections officer, working as a road deputy, shift supervisor and communications supervisor before becoming director of the 911 program in 2005, Sheriff Jason Ard said.

Cotton will remain in his post during a transition period and officially will retire on June 1, Ard said.

Varnado, who currently serves as deputy director of the St. Tammany Parish Communications District, lives in Livingston Parish with his wife and two children.