The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is the chief law enforcement agency in San Diego County. The department is comprised of approximately 4,000 employees, both sworn officers and professional support staff. The department provides general law enforcement, detention and court services for the people of San Diego County in a service area of approximately 4,200 square miles. In addition, the department provides specialized regional services to the entire county, including the incorporated cities and the unincorporated areas of the county.

The Sheriff, elected by the residents of San Diego County, is the chief executive of the department. He manages seven major detention facilities as well as eight major patrol stations, four patrol substations, a crime laboratory and an array of support operations necessary to provide full law enforcement coverage for the County of San Diego.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is organized into six general service areas which includes the following:

  • Office of the Sheriff
  • Law Enforcement Services
  • Detention Facility Services
  • Court Services
  • Human Resource Services
  • Management Services

Law Enforcement Services

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department provides contract law enforcement services for the cities of Del Mar, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista. In these cities the Sheriff's Department serves as their police department, providing a full range of law enforcement services including patrol, traffic and investigative services.

In the unincorporated (non-city) areas, the Sheriff's Department provides generalized patrol and investigative services. The California Highway Patrol has the primary jurisdiction for traffic services in unincorporated areas.

Detention Services

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department operates seven detention facilities. Male arrestees are booked at the San Diego Central Jail and Vista Detention Facility, while female arrestees are booked at the Las Colinas and Vista Detention Facilities. The remaining jails house inmates in the care of the Sheriff.

In order to provide critical services to a daily inmate population over 5,000, the Detention Services Bureau is supported by a state-of-the-art food services production center, comprehensive medical services, laundry, commissary, and inmate processing services. The Inmate Services Division provides a number of educational and rehabilitative programs aimed at improving the reentry success of those returning to our communities.

Court Services

In January 2000, the former San Diego County Marshal's Office merged with the Sheriff's Department. Since that time, the Sheriff has provided court security and related services for the San Diego Superior Court at several locations throughout the county.