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Sworn Officers:

  • 2009 - 94
  • 2010 - 86
  • 2011 - 94

Civillian Staff:

  • 2009 - 19
  • 2010 - 17
  • 2011 - 15


  • 2006 - 67,932
  • 2007 - 72,601
  • 2008 - 78,132
  • 2009 - 85,774
  • 2010 - 81,496
  • 2011 - 90,484

Population (Census/CA Dept. of Finance):

  • 1990 - 49,040
  • 2000-  54,593
  • 2008-  56,124
  • 2010 - 59,986



The Santa Cruz Police Department is divided into two distinct divisions: operations and administration. Operations oversees everything in uniform (such as patrol officers and traffic) while the administration division oversees investigations, records and professional standards.  Please click here for an organizational chart of the department.



Emergency Services Unit (ESU):

As one of the most highly-trained law enforcement teams in Santa Cruz County, including members that have won state competitions in firearms and tactics, the ESU team was created for a proactive and safe approach to high-risk situations. Specifically, the team has been used for high-risk warrant services on homicide suspects and gang violence suspects, hostage negotiations and water-based recovery and searches. ESU is broken into three specialties:

  • Tactical Team - The Tac Team works to safely execute arrest and search warrants. In addition they assist in barricaded subjects, hostage situations, and vehicle assaults. This team, using extremely modern and specialized equipment, trains in simulated situations throughout the year to maintain a high-level of preparedness for all crises.
  • Dive Team - Another component of the Emergency Services Unit, the Dive Team, consists of officers who are specially trained to conduct crime scene investigations by locating and retrieving evidence in challenging underwater conditions. Unique equipment and a focus on teamwork have combined to create a unit that is capable of expanding the department's investigative activities into more than just areas of dry land.
  • Hostage Negotiation - As a component of the ESU hostage negotiation specialists aim to facilitate and negotiate nonviolent conclusions to crisis situations. These team members are called upon during hostage-taking conditions, suicidal subjects and other high-risk situations. 

Street Crimes Unit:

Primarily focused on narcotics and gangs, this highly mobile unit addresses hot spots throughout the city as they arise. This unit works with neighborhood groups and other law enforcement to address issues that transcend city boundries.  In addition, Street Crimes often works with county, state and federal agencies to address narcotics issues within the city.

Gang Unit:

Working in concert with the countywide Joint Agency Gang Operations (JAG) and Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team (ACT) this unit dedicates officers full-time toward addressing gang activity in our community. Two department gang experts and one sergeant are tasked with coordinating city gang intelligence, disseminating information to other county agencies and overseeing department gang strategy. This unit attempts to bridge the multitude of efforts from the Santa Cruz Police Department to address gang violence with partners throughout the county including education, prevention, public information and suppression.


Since the invention of the automobile, many laws have been passed to keep them from running into one another. Traffic officers are charged with the responsibility of enforcing traffic laws, investigating traffic accidents, and hit-and-run accidents. The traffic unit responds to specific neighborhood complaints, conducts traffic surveys and assists on patrol calls-for-service.

Downtown Unit:

The Santa Cruz central business district encompasses an 18-square-block area which has become the social focal point of the community. A team of officers are assigned to a walking/ bicycle patrol to maintain a close working relationship with all to provide a crime-free environment and to assure equal use by all citizens.

Parks Unit:

Created after a city bond measure passed to fund the unit, the Santa Cruz Police Department Parks Unit patrols all of the parks and open space within city limits.  The Parks Unit addresses drug, public safety and health hazards within our city parks, river levees and greenbelts.


Reserve Officers:

The Police Reserve Unit consists of men and women from a variety of professions who donate their time to be a part-time, sworn police officer or community service officer who assists the full-time officers in their assigned duties. Reserve officers find their contribution to law enforcement exciting and rewarding. Reserve officers go through the same selection process and training as a regular officer.

School Resource Officers:

The department (working in collaboration with the local school district) employs School Resource Officers (SROs). Their primary responsibilites are the safety and security of the schools. They use various patrol techniques including vehicle patrol, foot patrol and bicycle patrol on the various campuses. The SROs also attend school sporting events, special training and meetings for the schools.

Last updated: 3/1/2012 8:56:57 AM