The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office was founded in 1850, making it one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the State of California. There have been twenty-eight persons serving in the capacity of Sheriff since 1850. Laurie Smith is the twenty-eighth Sheriff of Santa Clara County. Sheriff Smith has served as the Sheriff since January 1999.
The Sheriff's Office is divided into 4 major bureaus: Administrative Services, Enforcement, Custody, and Support Services.
There are several specialized units and teams within the Sheriff's Office. These include Canine Unit, Search & Rescue, Dive Team, Traffic/Motorcycles, Off-Road Enforcement Team, Hostage Negotiation Team, SERT (Sheriff's Emergency Response Team), Crowd Control Unit, SORE (Sheriff's Off-Road Enforcement Team), Narcotics Task Force, ERT (Emergency Response Teams), Jail Intelligence Unit, SAFE (Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement) Task Force, REACT (Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team) Task Force, CASU (Custodial Alternative Supervision Unit), Parks Boat Patrol, Intelligence/Vice Unit and Bomb Squad.