A native Southern Californian, Obenberger, who turns 54 this month, said he could never imagine moving back to the bright lights of the big city.
“It took me maybe a year to understand, to an extent, what rural law enforcement is about. In rural law enforcement, you could go a day without a call; or a week without a call.
“The rural law enforcement is getting to know the people in your communities. I have to agree with [Ingrid] in that you have to get to know the people in your communities so they feel comfortable talking to you as a law enforcement officer, both on-duty and off.”
Obenberger moved to Mono County to take a position with the Sheriff’s Department in July 2000, having served with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department before that.
Obenberger’s wife, Ellen, is an occupational therapist at the Mammoth S.P.O.R.T. clinic. They live in June Lake and have three children, Jessica, Jason, and Adam.
The Obenbergers met before he entered law enforcement, when he was a store manager at a McDonald’s in Whittier and she also was working there. Oddly enough, Obenberger’s three brothers, Karl, Keith, and Richard, also met their future wives at the Whittier McDonald’s, begging the question: if he wins the sheriff’s race, would he like fries with that?