On December 15, 1998, Laurie Smith became the twenty-eighth person to hold the position of Sheriff in Santa Clara County. With Smith's landslide election victory on November 3, 1998, she became the first woman law enforcement officer to hold the Office of Sheriff in the history of California.
The Department is divided into 4 major bureaus: Field Operations, Support Services, Jail Operations and Administrative Services.
Currently, the Sheriff's Office has 586 full-time sworn staff. These positions are broken down as follows:
In addition to the full-time sworn staff, the Sheriff's Office has 65 Reserve Deputy Sheriffs. To support the entire operation, the Department employs 223 non-sworn, civilian staff.
Since the establishment of the Santa Clara Sheriff's Office, 7 officers have died in the line of duty.