The Operations Bureau provides services to the unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County and consists of three major Divisions: Patrol, Investigations, and Community Policing.
The Patrol Division is led by two Lieutenants who supervise teams that work Sunday through Wednesday and Wednesday through Saturday respectively.
The Patrol Division's mandate is to provide continuous first responder 9-1-1 service, non-emergency service, and general law enforcement in the unincorporated areas of the County. A Sheriff's Sergeant is assigned to each shift. The Sergeant directs the activities of the shift and coordinates enforcement assignments in response to calls for service. Deputies drive the distinctive green and white Sheriff's Office patrol cars and wear a khaki shirt and green pants. The Sheriff's Office receives nearly 95,000 calls for service each year, the majority of which receive the attention of the Patrol Division.
The Investigation Division's mandate is to perform thorough and accurate investigations of matters that by their nature are not routinely handled by the Patrol Division. Detectives are assigned to investigate serious and complex crimes requiring technical skills, abilities, resources and very often specialized training. The Division is structured utilizing a specialization concept in which criminal cases are assigned by established categories to the appropriately staffed and trained section for follow-up investigation. The Investigation Division is composed of six sections: Coroner, Crime Scene Investigation, Robbery/Homicide/Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault/Child Abuse, Crimes Against Property/High Tech, and Narcotics/Gang Enforcement.