The first Sheriff of San Mateo County took office in 1856 when the County was incorporated from parts of San Francisco and Santa Cruz Counties. As the chief law enforcement officer, the Sheriff is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and reviewing the activities and operations of the Sheriff's Office, including adult correctional facilities, rehabilitation, and re-entry services for offenders; public safety and emergency services; forensic laboratory services and specialized programs, such as narcotics, search and rescue, and bomb detection and disposal. The Sheriff and his Office coordinate assigned activities with other County departments and outside agencies, as well, and provide highly responsible and complex administrative support to the County Manager and Board of Supervisors.
In short, the SAN MATEO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE MISSION is to:
- Protect life and property and preserve the public peace.
- Enforce state laws and County ordinances.
- Prevent crime.
- Support positive youth development.
- Apprehend criminals and supervise and care for incarcerated prisoners.
- Coordinate emergency services.
- Process civil actions.
- Provide security for the Courts, Health Services, County employees, SamTrans/Caltrain, and the public visiting the County facilities.