COVID-19 UPDATE | The City is coordinating closely with our public health officials at the Santa Cruz County Health Department to prevent the further spread COVID-19. In an effort to protect you and our community, changes and measures have been adopted in daily operations and activities. For further details please click here for the City’s Response to COVID-19


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The history of the Santa Cruz Police Department begins with the incorporation of the city in 1866. A Board of Trustees governed the new town, and S.W. Field, President of the Board, appointed the first Police Chief in 1867. Robert Liddell was a Santa Cruz lifeguard at the time he was appointed Police Chief, and he served as the head of a one-man department until 1888. By the turn of the century, the police force had grown to three men. As was common in most Police Departments in the early years, the chief was a politically appointed position. In 1933, the city was reorganized under a City Manager/City Council form of government, and the Police Chief became a professional staff position...

Police Chief:

The Chief of Police is responsible to the community members of Santa Cruz to provide a Police Department whose goals are to protect and serve the community in a professional and distinguished manner. The Chief of Police is responsible for providing leadership and administrative management of the Police Department, and reports to the City Manager.

Department Facts/Structure:

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...